The European Union towards new sanctions on Russia: even Sberbank to exit Swift, a gradual embargo on oil

It is a fairly diverse set of new sanctions against Russia that the European Commission is introducing to member states over the weekend and which is expected to be approved in the coming days. In addition to the gradual embargo on oil, it also provides for a ban on European companies from consulting in the field of finance and services, a ban on exports in the chemical sector and further sanctions against various personalities.

According to information collected here in Brussels on Saturday, April 30, the proposals submitted by the EU executive to the diplomatic representatives of the 27 envisage, first of all, an extension of the list of Russian banks excluded from Swift, which is now good. Well-known financial messaging system. Three credit institutions were affected, including Sberbank, a bank that collects a third of Russian banking assets. A Belarusian bank can also be affected.

Towards a gradual ban on oil

As expected days ago, the European Union wants to cut off oil supplies from Russia (see Il Sole / 24 Ore dated April 28). The issue is very sensitive because some European countries are specially dependent: more than Germany, Slovakia and Hungary. The upshot is that the European Commission’s proposed ban on the 27 will be gradual, coming into full effect on December 31st, and this gradualism may lead some to criticism.

However, one diplomat explains that this same gradation recognizes the “irreversibility of sanctions”. In the meantime, the twenty-seven could actually be able to eliminate dependence on Russian crude oil. At the same time, measures will be taken to discourage Russian oil exports to third countries. In this sense, Brussels proposed to the 27 countries to prevent the issuance of European insurance policies or transit through European ports. Also interesting is the European Union’s decision to ban consulting work in Russia, in the services and finance sectors.

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Industry and the oligarchy are also targeted

On the industrial front, the new package of sanctions will concern the control of exports to Russia of about 80 chemical products, which tend to be used to produce chemical weapons. The export ban will also affect equipment needed to produce chemical weapons. Moreover, the sixth package of sanctions since Russia invaded Ukraine at the end of February provides for the infection of three radio stations, following the ban on Sputnik and Russia Today decided in early March. In this regard, the artwork is still being carried out using the most appropriate legal basis.

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