The European Commission welcomes Member States’ agreement today to impose additional targeted measures due to Russia’a invasion in Ukraine and Belarus’s role in this aggression. The new measures, in particular, impose restrictive measures on 160 persons and alter Regulation (EC) 765/2006 on restrictive measures in light of the issues in Belarus, as well as Regulation (EU) 833/2014 on Russia’s activities destabilizing the situation in Ukraine. These revisions bring EU sanctions against Russia and Belarus closer together, making it considerably more difficult for Russian penalties to be avoided, particularly through Belarus.
The measures for Belarus include SWIFT prohibitions identical to those in the Russian regime, clarification that crypto assets come under the inference of “transferable securities,” and an expansion of current financial restrictions by matching the measures already in place for Russia sanctions.
The agreed-upon steps will:
- Restriction of SWIFT service provision to Belagroprombank, Bank Dabrabyt, and the Development Bank of the Republic of Belarus, as well as its Belarusian subsidiaries.
- Prohibiting transactions with the Belarusian Central Bank involving the administration of reserves or assets, as well as the supply of public funding for trade with and investment in Belarus.
- As of April 12, 2022, the listing and providing of services regarding shares of Belarus state-owned businesses on EU trading platforms are prohibited.
- Limiting financial inflows from Belarus to the EU significantly by prohibiting the acceptance of deposits exceeding €100.000 from Belarusian nationals or residents, the holding of accounts of Belarusian clients by EU central securities depositories, and the sale of euro-denominated securities to Belarusian clients.
- Interdiction of the supply of euro denomination banknotes to Belarus.
For Russia, the amendment imposes new restrictions on the export of maritime navigation and radio communication technology, adds the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping to the list of state-owned enterprises subject to financing restrictions, and adds a prior information sharing provision for maritime safety equipment exports.
Furthermore, it extends the exemption about the acceptance of deposits in EU banks exceeding €100.000 to Swiss and EEA nationals.
Finally, the EU reinforced the common understanding that loans and credit can be offered through any method, including crypto assets, and refined the concept of “transferable securities” to explicitly encompass crypto-assets, ensuring appropriate execution of the limits in place.
The listed individuals include:
- 14 oligarchs and important entrepreneurs active in major economic sectors that provide a significant amount of money to the Russian Federation, most notably the metallurgical, agricultural, pharmaceutical, telecommunications, and digital industries, as well as their family members
- 146 Russian Federation Council members who ratified the government decisions on the ‘Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance between the Russian Federation and the Donetsk People’s Republic’ and the ‘Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance between the Russian Federation and the Luhansk People’s Republic.’
In sum, the EU’s restrictive measures currently apply to 862 persons and 53 businesses.
9 March 2022’s decision builds on the EU’s extensive and unprecedented package of actions in response to Russia’s military assault on Ukraine’s territorial integrity. The European Commission, as the protector of the EU Treaties, is responsible for overseeing the implementation of EU penalties throughout the Union. The EU is unified in its support for Ukraine and its people and will continue to do so in collaboration with its international allies, including through extra-political, financial, and humanitarian assistance.