Reuters reported that European Union states will have a preliminary discussion on May 10 on new proposed sanctions over Russia’s war in Ukraine that would affect companies in third-countries and allow export bans on third countries for violating existing trade restrictions.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the new sanctions would focus on cracking down on circumvention of Russia trade curbs already in place, and were designed “in very close coordination” with Group of Seven (G7) nations.
“If we see that goods are going from the European Union to third countries and then end up in Russia, we could propose to the member states to sanction those goods' export. This tool will be a last resort and it will be used cautiously,” she said.
Diplomatic sources familiar with the proposal — drafted by von der Leyen’s Commission — said it also included blacklisting “tens” of new companies, including from China, Iran, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
Recall that at the end of April, the European Union’s special envoy for sanctions, David O’Sullivan, visited Uzbekistan as part of a tour of countries where there has been an increase in the import of subsanctioned goods from EU countries. He said recent exports of such goods from the EU through Uzbekistan have increased by 126%.
These goods — mostly household items such as washing machines, used cars and cameras — contain circuit boards, microchips and optical equipment that the EU special envoy said could be used for weapons, guidance systems, artillery and cruise missiles.
“These are the products we find in trophy military equipment seized from the Russian military. We know that they are using a number of products and their parts for weapons to kill Ukrainians. And that is why we asked that special attention be paid to the movement of exactly these products across the border,” the EU special envoy explained.
During his visit, Uzbekistan also hosted training seminars on sanctions for governmental organisations and businesses, explaining which specific activities with European exports were illegal and how to jointly resist circumventing sanctions.
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At the end of March, it was reported that the EU was planning to impose trade restrictions on states that help Russia acquire technology with “dual-use” capabilities.