On Thursday, ambassadors from European Union member states approved the fifth package of anti-Russian sanctions, which includes restrictions on financial institutions as well as prohibitions on coal imports from Russia and high-tech exports to Russia.
In a tweet, the French presidency of the European Council said, “This meaningful package of sanctions against Russia expands the sanctions to new spheres.”
“It includes, among other things, the freezing of assets of several Russian banks, a ban on coal imports from Russia, an arms embargo against Russia, and a ban on exports to Russia, including high-tech goods,” the French presidency stated.
The value of sanctions-affected exports is estimated to be 10 billion euros, while restrictions on imports of “raw materials and critically important materials” will affect products worth 5.5 billion euros in total.
Furthermore, Russian-flagged ships will be barred from entering European ports, and transport companies from Russia and Belarus will be barred from conducting business on European Union territory.
Sanctions against Russian businessmen and “propagandists” are specifically mentioned in the statement. European sanctions will also be expanded to include security and military officers, as well as defense companies, involved in Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine.
“This package of measures will be adopted by the European Council in accordance with a written procedure and should be published in the Official Journal of the European Union tomorrow,” according to the statement.
On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in an early morning televised address that he had launched a special military operation in Ukraine in response to the leaders of the Donbas republics’ request for assistance. He emphasized that Moscow had no intention of occupying Ukrainian territory; the operation’s sole goal, he said, is to demilitarise and denazify Ukraine.
Sanctions were imposed on Russian individuals and companies by the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and other countries in response.