New restrictions target Russia’s energy sector, and restrict trade on luxury goods
European Union flags are flown between the EU Commission headquarters and the EU Council headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, March 7, 2022 © Getty Images / Thierry Monasse
The European Union on Tuesday introduced a fourth round of anti-Russian sanctions. The new measures include bans on investments in the Russian energy sector, and prohibitions on export of luxury goods and imports of iron and steel.
The new economic penalties include a ban on all transactions with certain enterprises owned by the Russian state, and a prohibition on various metal imports from Russia. European agencies are also forbidden from providing credit ratings to any Russian persons or entities, and EU citizens are barred from making any new investments in Russia’s energy sector.
Oil and gas imports to the EU, however, remain unaffected. Europe depends heavily on Russia for its energy imports, and while leaders in Brussels plan to lessen that dependence, they have stopped short of imposing import bans like the UK and US have already done.
The new sanctions also prohibit the export of luxury goods worth more than 300 euros ($328) to Russia, including champagne, handbags, diamonds and vehicles worth more than 50,000 euros ($54,730). An exhaustive list of banned goods published in the EU’s legal journal also mentions luxuries like purebred racehorses and works of art, as well as mundane purchases like cotton t-shirts and cigarettes.
Nine Russian entities – including the jet fuel subsidiary of energy giant Rosneft and a number of Russian arms manufacturers and other military-industrial firms – have also been sanctioned, as have 15 individuals, among them billionaire Roman Abramovich.