29 Jan 2024 17:28

Council of EU extends economic sanctions on Russia for another 6 months

BRUSSELS. Jan 29 (Interfax) - The Council of the European Union on Monday announced its decision to renew its sanctions on Russia in view of the situation in Ukraine for another six months and introduced restrictions for human rights abuses against the Safe Internet League, two Russian judges, and one Russian prosecutor.

"The council today renewed for a further 6 months its restrictive measures in view of the Russian Federation's continuing actions destabilizing the situation in Ukraine, until July 31, 2024," the Council said in a statement in Brussels.

The sanctions, introduced originally in 2014, "currently consist of a broad spectrum of sectoral measures, including restrictions on trade, finance, technology and dual-use goods, industry, transport and luxury goods," it said.

They also include a ban on the import or transfer of seaborne crude oil and certain petroleum products from Russia to the EU, de-SWIFTing several Russian banks, and suspending broadcasts by several Russian media outlets.

"Additionally, specific measures were introduced to strengthen the ability of the EU to counter sanctions circumvention," it said.

The Council of the EU also decided on Monday to designate the Russian organization Safe Internet League for its restrictive measures under the EU's Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime for aiding "the Russian government in enforcing censorship practices." The sanctions also apply to the league's chairperson, Yekaterina Mizulina.

The EU extended its Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime to Valentina Levashova, a judge of Moscow's Basmanny District Court, Lyudmila Smolkina, a judge of the Moscow City Court, and Oleg Alypov, the Golovinsky Interdistrict Prosecutor of Moscow.

"Those listed under the sanctions regime are subject to an asset freeze, and the provision of funds or economic resources, directly or indirectly, to them or for their benefit, is prohibited. Additionally, a travel ban to the EU applies to the natural persons listed," it said.

The Council of the EU mentioned the fact the EU "has in place different types of measures in response to Russia's destabilizing actions against Ukraine," among them restrictions on economic relations with Crimea, the city of Sevastopol, and the new Russian regions of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), the Lugansk People's Republic (LPR), the Zaporozhye region, and the Kherson region, as well as individual restrictive measures, i.e. asset freezes and travel restrictions, against a number of individuals and entities, and diplomatic measures.

Since February 24, 2022, the EU has adopted 12 various sanction packages against Russia in light of the situation involving Ukraine, it said.