Espreso. Global

EU imposes new sanctions on Iran for supporting Russian aggression against Ukraine, Assad regime in Syria

20 July, 2023 Thursday

EU Council adopts new restrictive measures against Iran over military support for the regime in Syria and Russia's aggressive war against Ukraine

This is reported on the website of the European Council.

"The Council today established a new framework for restrictive measures in view of Iran's military support of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine.

This new regime prohibits the export from the European Union to Iran of components used in the construction and production of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). It also provides for travel restrictions and asset freeze measures that could be imposed against persons responsible for, supporting or involved in Iran’s UAV’s programme," the statement said.

This is in addition to three previously adopted preliminary sanctions packages against individuals and entities related to the production of drones, the last of which was adopted in February.

The EU Council has decided to list six individuals from Iran under two existing sanctions regimes for Iran's military support of Russia's aggressive war against Ukraine (drone production) and the Syrian regime (air defence systems). They will be subject to an asset freeze, and EU citizens and companies will be prohibited from providing them with any financial resources. These individuals are also subject to travel restrictions and will not be able to enter or transit the EU.

The press release notes that today's decision demonstrates the EU's determination to respond swiftly and decisively to Iran's actions. The EU condemns the supply of Iranian drones to Russia and their use in the war of aggression against Ukraine.

Some details regarding sanctions against Russia

The new 11th sanctions package against Russia was supposed to be adopted by the end of May, but Budapest demanded that three Hungarian companies be removed from the list. Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said that due to Ukraine's inclusion of the Hungarian OTP Bank in the list of war sponsors, it would be difficult for Budapest to agree with the EU on new sanctions against Russia.

Greece also demanded that its companies be removed from the list.

On May 8, the Financial Times reported that the European Union may impose sanctions on several Chinese companies for supplying electronics to Russia.

In June, Politico reported that Germany, France, and several other EU member states fear that measures aimed at preventing Russians from circumventing sanctions could have a negative impact on diplomatic relations.

On June 15, Bloomberg wrote that the EU may remove 5 Chinese companies with ties to Russia from the new sanctions list.

On June 21, EU ambassadors agreed on a new package of sanctions against Russia, which includes the elimination of loopholes that help the Russians circumvent previously imposed restrictions.

On June 28, Switzerland added new individuals and organizations to the list of restrictions on Russia, thus supporting the 11th EU sanctions package.

On July 20, Australia imposed new restrictions on 35 organisations from the Russian defence, technology and energy sectors, as well as 10 ministers, senior Russian officials and military officers from Belarus.

The EU Council also extended sanctions against certain sectors of the Russian economy for another six months.

In addition, the UK imposed sanctions on 13 people associated with the activities of the Russian private military company Wagner Group in Mali, Sudan and the Central African Republic. However, it lifted them against Russian oligarch Oleg Tinkov, the former owner of Tinkoff Bank. Earlier, British businessman Richard Branson had asked for the lifting of sanctions against the Russian.

At the same time, Canada has introduced a new package of sanctions against Russia, targeting, among other things, the Wagner PMC, the nuclear sector, and propagandists from the Ministry of Culture.

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