Since February, the EU has imposed sixth packages of sanctions against Russia, including targeted restrictive measures (individual sanctions), economic sanctions and diplomatic measures. The EU has also adopted sanctions against Belarus in response to its involvement in the invasion of Ukraine.
Since Russia’s recognition of the non-government-controlled areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts in Ukraine on 21 February 2022 and the unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, the EU has imposed a series of new sanctions against Russia. Τhey add to existing measures imposed on Russia since 2014 following the annexation of Crimea and the non-implementation of the Minsk agreements.
Τhe European Council explains that the aim of the economic sanctions is to impose severe consequences on Russia for its actions and to effectively thwart Russian abilities to continue the aggression. As part of the economic sanctions, the EU has imposed a number of import and export restrictions on Russia. This means that European entities cannot sell certain products to Russia (export restrictions) and that Russian entities are not allowed to sell certain products to the EU (import restrictions).
The list of banned products is designed to maximise the negative impact of the sanctions for the Russian economy while limiting the consequences for EU businesses and citizens. The export and import restrictions exclude products primarily intended for consumption and products related to health, pharma, food and agriculture, in order not to harm the Russian population.
With regards to maritime industry, the EU has closed its ports to Russia’s entire merchant fleet of over 2 800 vessels. However, the measure does not affect vessels carrying:
- pharmaceutical, medical, agricultural and food products
- humanitarian aid
- nuclear fuel and other goods necessary for the functioning of civil nuclear capabilities
- coal (until 10 August 2022, after which imports of coal into the EU will be banned)
The measure also does not affect vessels in need of assistance seeking a place of refuge, or vessels making an emergency port call for reasons of maritime safety or saving life at sea.
The ban will also apply to vessels that try to evade the sanctions by changing their Russian flag or registration to that of another state. Port authorities can identify an attempt to reflag or change registration by checking a vessel’s IMO number (the unique identification number assigned on behalf of the International Maritime Organization).
Leave a Reply