EU adopts sixth package of sanctions targeting Russia and Belarus
On 3 June 2022, the European Council announced its decision to adopt the sixth package of economic and individual sanctions targeting both Russia and Belarus. The package includes a series of measures intended to effectively prevent Russian abilities to continue the aggression against Ukraine.
The package takes the form of amending regulations, with EU Regulation 879/2022 amending the existing EU Regulation 833/2014 and EU Regulations 878/2022 and 880/2022 amending the existing EU Regulation 269/2014.
We summarise below the key changes introduced by the amending regulations.
Crude oil and related products ban
It was decided to prohibit the purchase, import, or transfer of crude oil and certain petroleum products from Russia into the EU. The phasing out of Russian crude oil will start six months from the prohibition’s entry into force, and eight months for other petroleum products. A temporary exception has been included for imports of crude oil by pipeline into those EU member states that, due to their geographic situation, are especially dependent on Russian supplies and have no viable alternatives.
SWIFT ban extensions
The EU has further extended the existing prohibition on the provision of specialised financial messaging services (such as SWIFT) to additional credit institutions:
- Credit Bank of Moscow
- Russian Agricultural Bank
- Belarusian Bank For Development And Reconstruction
The EU is expanding the list of persons and entities concerned by export restrictions regarding dual-use goods and technology. Moreover, the EU will expand the list of goods and technology which may contribute to the technological enhancement of Russia’s defence and security sector. This will include 80 chemicals which can be used to produce chemical weapons.
A provision is included to suspend the broadcasting activities in the EU of three more Russian state-owned outlets: Rossiya RTR/RTR Planeta, Rossiya 24/Russia 24 and TV Centre International.
Accounting, consultancy, and other services
Restrictions on the provision of accounting, public relations, and consultancy services, as well as cloud services to Russia, have also been introduced. Notably, the sixth package prohibits the provision of services such as accounting, auditing, and consulting (among others) to the government of Russia and to legal persons, entities, or bodies established in Russia.
Services to trusts and other similar legal arrangements
Acting as, or arranging for another person to act as, a trustee, nominee shareholder, director, secretary or a similar position, for a trust or similar legal arrangement having as a trustor or a beneficiary a person who falls into one of the categories listed in Article 5m of Regulation 833, is prohibited as of 5 July 2022. Previously, this prohibition was effective as of 10 May 2022.
Similarly, the previous deadline of 10 May 2022 to cease operations that are strictly necessary for the termination of contracts concluded before 9 April 2022 and that are in breach of the prohibition to provide certain services to trusts and other similar legal arrangements, has been extended to 5 July 2022, previously being 10 May 2022.
Additionally, further grounds for authorisation by the competent authorities of the provision of the prohibited services were introduced. These include authorisation for the completion by 5 September 2022 of operations strictly necessary for the termination of contracts which would otherwise need to be terminated by 5 July 2022, provided that such operations were initiated before 11 May 2022
Finally, the European Council decided to extend existing sanctions lists with the inclusion of an additional 65 individuals and 18 entities.
The press release can be found here
EU Regulation 878/2022 can be found here
EU Regulation 879/2022 can be found here
EU Regulation 880/2022 can be found here