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EU executive proposes import ban on Russian gold, tweaks on food trade

EU executive proposes import ban on Russian gold, tweaks on food trade
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Tuesday, 19 July, 2022, 18:54

The European Commission, the EU executive, formally proposed on Friday its latest package of sanctions against Moscow, including an import ban on Russian gold, and legal tweaks to prevent current measures from hampering food shipments.

First reported by Reuters in June, the new measures are considered "a maintenance and alignment package," the Commission said in a statement. read more

Officials privately referred to it as a "sixth-and-a-half" set of sanctions for its limited scope compared with six previous rounds imposed since Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24 that hit Russian financial services, oil or coal.

"Today's package will introduce a new import ban on Russian gold, while reinforcing our dual use and advanced technology export controls," the Commission said in a statement. "In doing so, it will reinforce the alignment of EU sanctions with those of our G7 partners. It will also strengthen reporting requirements to tighten EU asset freezes," it said.

EU governments must now agree on the measures for them to become law, although diplomats said they were uncontroversial and should pass through easily. Ambassadors are due to meet on Monday and then on Wednesday for possible approval.

Some measures could still have a serious impact on the affected sectors.

One source told Reuters imports of Russian gold through third countries would also be affected, but did not elaborate on how it would work.

Brussels will also tighten existing sanctions, with new curbs on the imports by Russia of goods that could be used for military purposes, including chemicals and machinery.

New individuals and entities considered close to the Kremlin will also be blacklisted and hit with asset freezes and travel bans.