In light of Russia’s continuing war of aggression against Ukraine and Belarus' support to it, as well as the reported atrocities committed by Russian armed forces in Ukraine, the Council decided on the 3rd of June 2022 to impose a sixth package of economic and individual sanctions targeting both Russia and Belarus.
The agreed package includes a series of measures intended to effectively thwart Russian abilities to continue the aggression.
The EU decided to prohibit the purchase, import or transfer of crude oil and certain petroleum products from Russia into the EU. The phasing out of Russian oil will take from 6 months for crude oil to 8 months for other refined petroleum products.
A temporary exception is foreseen for imports of crude oil by pipeline into those EU member states that, due to their geographic situation, suffer from a specific dependence on Russian supplies and have no viable alternative options.
Moreover, Bulgaria and Croatia will also benefit from temporary derogations concerning the import of Russian seaborne crude oil and vacuum gas oil respectively.
De-SWIFTing of additional Russian and Belarusian banks
The EU is extending the existing prohibition on the provision of specialised financial messaging services (SWIFT) to three additional Russian credit institutions - Russia's largest bank Sberbank, Credit Bank of Moscow, and Russian Agricultural Bank - and the Belarusian Bank For Development And Reconstruction.
The EU is suspending the broadcasting activities in the EU of three more Russian state-owned outlets: Rossiya RTR/RTR Planeta, Rossiya 24 / Russia 24 and TV Centre International. According to the Council, these structures have been used by the Russian Government as instruments to manipulate information and promote disinformation about the invasion of Ukraine, including propaganda, with the aim to destabilise Russia's neighbouring countries and the EU and its member states. In line with the Charter of Fundamental Rights, these measures will not prevent those media outlets and their staff from carrying out activities in the EU other than broadcasting, e.g. research and interviews.
The EU is expanding the list of persons and entities concerned by export restrictions regarding dual-use goods and technology. Such additions to the list include both Russian and Belarusian entities. Moreover, the EU will expand the list of goods and technology which may contribute to the technological enhancement of Russia’s defence and security sector. This will include 80 chemicals which can be used to produce chemical weapons.
The EU imposes prohibitions on the provision to Russia of accounting, auditing, bookkeeping and tax consulting services, as well as on business and management consulting and public relations services.
As per section 26 of Regulation 2022/879, accounting, auditing, bookkeeping and tax consultancy services cover the recording of commercial transactions for businesses and others; examination services of accounting records and financial statements; business tax planning and consulting; and the preparation of tax documents. Business and management consulting and public relations services cover advisory, guidance and operational assistance services provided to businesses for business policy and strategy and the overall planning, structuring and control of an organisation. Management fees, management auditing; market management, human resources, production management and project management consulting; and advisory, guidance and operational services related to improving the image of the clients and their relations with the general public and other institutions are all included.
Furthermore, the Council decided to sanction additional individuals and entities: those responsible for the atrocities committed by Russian troops in Bucha and Mariupol, personalities supporting the war, leading businesspersons and family members of listed oligarchs and Kremlin officials, as well as companies in the defence and a financial organisation.
More information as to the 6th package of sanctions may be found here
The content of this article is valid as at the date of its first publication. It is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and does not constitute legal advice. We recommend that you seek professional advice on your specific matter before acting on any information provided. For further information or advice, please contact Stephanos Ayiomamitis, Senior Associate at Tel: 25 363685 or via email at email@example.com