EU adopts “maintenance and alignment” package on its Russia sanctions
On 21 July 2022, the European Council adopted the new measures, under the “maintenance and alignment” package.
The package introduces a new import ban on Russian gold, prohibition to purchase, or transfer, directly or indirectly, gold, if it originates in Russia and it has been exported from Russia into the EU or to any third country after.
Additionally, the new measures extend the existing port access ban to locks to avoid the circumvention of sanctions and expand the scope of the prohibition on accepting deposits to include those from legal persons, entities or bodies established in third countries and majority-owned by Russian nationals or natural persons residing in Russia. The acceptance of deposits for non-prohibited cross-border trade will be subject to a prior authorisation by the national competent authorities.
The package is also reinforcing the dual use and advance technologies export controls.
The EU Council decided to list additional individuals and entities and strengthen reporting requirements, putting the burden of declaring assets onto sanctioned people, in order to facilitate the freezing of their assets in the EU. Most notably, Sberbank has been added to the asset freeze list. Additionally, certain additional licensing options have been introduced.
The package reiterates that EU sanctions do not target the trade in agricultural products between third countries and Russia. Similarly, EU measures do not prevent third countries and their nationals operating outside of the EU from purchasing pharmaceutical or medical products from Russia.
European Council’s press release can be found here.
European Commission’s press release can be found here.