Wednesday

10th Aug 2022

EU diplomats discuss Russia gold sanctions

  • New ban to include trade in Russian gold (Photo: bankofengland.co.uk)
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EU diplomats will hold initial talks on new Russian sanctions on Monday (18 July), amid proposals to ban gold exports and blacklist more individuals.

The sanctions package will "introduce a new import ban on Russian gold, while reinforcing our dual use and advanced technology export controls," the EU Commission said Friday.

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It will "reinforce the alignment of EU sanctions with those of our G7 partners" and "strengthen reporting requirements to tighten EU asset freezes".

It will also make clear "EU sanctions do not target in any way the trade in agricultural products between third countries and Russia".

And it will clarify "the exact scope of some financial and economic sanctions" on Russia to ensure companies worldwide can ship and insure Russian food exports without worrying about fines.

The details, including the new names to join the Russia blacklist, remain under wraps for now.

But according to the Politico news website, they include an exemption on exports of Russian-made jewellery amid the broader gold-trade ban.

The new sanctions represent the seventh round of EU measures since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

They are minimalist compared to previous EU threats to also ban imports of Russian gas, which unravelled due to soaring energy prices and fears of empty storage tanks in Europe in the coming winter.

But the EU did earlier agree to phase out buying of Russian oil and coal, switch off most of its banks' access to international payments systems, and blacklist Russian president Vladimir Putin, his daughters, and even his girlfriend.

It has also sent billions of euros of weapons to the Ukrainian military.

The gold-ban package could enter into force by the end of the week, unless malcontents, such as Hungary, which has vetoed elements of previous proposals, raise objections.

The EU's focus on agricultural markets comes amid drastic food shortages in Africa caused by Russia's blockade of Ukrainian grain, which Russian propaganda has tried to blame on the West.

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