EU to discuss new sanctions against Russia next week

The Twenty-Seven will begin discussing next week a 12th package of European Union sanctions against Russia which will include a ban on Russian diamonds, diplomats and an EU official told Reuters. Since the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, EU countries have already adopted 11 packages of sanctions against Moscow to reduce the Kremlin’s ability to finance its aggression. The measures cover all sectors and concern some 1,800 people and entities. However, the Europeans have not yet sanctioned the Russian mining company Alrosa, which specializes in diamonds, even though the main Western jewelers are already boycotting stones from Russia. The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, told the Financial Times on Wednesday that the European Union had received the green light from the G7 (United States, Canada, Japan, France, Germany and Italy) during a meeting of ministers of Foreign Affairs of the group in Japan. EU diplomats had previously indicated that the Twenty-Seven were waiting for this green light to move forward. A European official indicated that the examination of the 12th package of sanctions proposed by the European Commission would begin “at the beginning of next week”. Belgium, which has long been reluctant to take such a step because of the importance of Antwerp diamond dealers, was tasked by the EU with drawing up the proposal to ban Russian diamonds, a diplomat said. Other countries, such as Poland and Estonia, are calling for the extension of sanctions to Russian liquefied natural gas but the EU does not seem to want to take this route so as not to destabilize a market which remains volatile. The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, on the other hand, said she was in favor of strengthening measures aimed at enforcing the ceiling imposed on the price of Russian oil, set by the G7 at $60 per barrel.

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