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EU approves new sanctions against Russia over Ukraine war | Russia-Ukraine war News

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Bloc officials say 200 people and entities have been added to the sanctions list, bringing the total to 2,000.

European Union members have approved a 13th package of sanctions against Russia over its war in Ukraine, banning nearly 200 additional entities and individuals accused of involvement in the two-year conflict.

“EU Ambassadors just agreed in principle on a 13th package of sanctions in the framework of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine,” Belgium, which holds the rotating EU presidency, said on X on Wednesday, calling it “one of the broadest approved by the EU”.

The sanctions will be formally approved by the 27-nation bloc on February 24, the day in 2022 when Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine.

“I welcome the agreement on our 13th sanctions package against Russia. We must keep degrading Putin’s war machine,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wrote on social media.

EU representatives in Brussels signed off on the package, which targets individuals and organisations linked to the Russian government and the invasion.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said 200 people and entities have been added to the sanctions list, bringing the total to 2,000.

“With this package, we are taking more action against entities involved in circumvention, the defence and military sectors,” Borrell said on X.

The EU recently targeted companies based in China, Uzbekistan, Iran and the United Arab Emirates that are allegedly involved in circumventing the bloc’s sanctions.

The latest measures go after the Russian weapons industry’s access to components to manufacture drones, diplomats told the German Press Agency dpa. Companies in the bloc would not be allowed to sell goods and technologies with military connections to Russia.

The focus is on entities and individuals that are part of Russia’s military industrial complex and those involved in trafficking and kidnapping Ukrainian children, EU sources told the Reuters news agency. One North Korean and one Belarusian firm were also added, the sources said.

The companies in the latest round are mainly Russian and also include three mainland Chinese firms and one Hong Kong-based company, Reuters reported.

However, the fresh sanctions do not contain wide-ranging measures to impact specific economic sectors.

A previous round of EU measures included a prohibition on importing diamonds and jewellery from Russia.

A far-reaching ban on imports of crude oil, coal, steel, gold and luxury goods as well as measures aimed at banks and financial institutions has been in place for some time.

While Western allies’ focus on Ukraine has been winding down amid war fatigue, concerns over the excessive costs of the war and the conflict in Gaza, the death last week of Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has given a fresh impetus to impose new sanctions.

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden said the United States will also announce new economic restrictions on Russia. While Biden did not provide details, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said the package will target a range of items, including Russia’s defence and industrial bases, along with sources of revenue for the economy.

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