February 24, 2024

EU imposes sanctions and tightens trade restrictions to mark the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

On February 23, 2024, to mark the second anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Council of the European Union amended Russia-related trade restrictions, and designated numerous individuals and entities that have contributed to Russian war efforts in Ukraine.  The Council adopted Council Regulation (EU) 2024/745 and Council Decision (CFSP) 2023/746 to strengthen import-export controls against Russia.  The amendment added 27 new entities to the list of persons that have directly supported Russia’s military industrial complex during its war with Ukraine; the designated persons will be subject to tighter export restrictions regarding dual-use goods and technology that could be used in Russia’s defense and security sectors.  Some of the new entities are located in third countries such as India, Sri Lanka, China, Serbia, and Türkiye, that have been involved the Russia’s efforts to evade trade restrictions.  The Council also expanded the list of controlled items that contribute to Russia’ military and defense capabilities, which now includes components for the development and production of unmanned aerial vehicles (“UAVs”).  Additional export restrictions were imposed on goods that may contribute to the enhancement of Russia’s industrial capabilities.  The Council also added the United Kingdom to the list of partner countries that agree to restrict the import of iron and steel from Russia and implement other import controls similar to those imposed by the European Union.

The Council also adopted Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2024/753 and Council Decision (CFSP) 2024/747 to add 106 individual and 88 entities to the EU sanctions list for their alleged involvement in actions that undermine the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.  The sanctions primarily target individuals and entities in Russia’s military and defense sectors, members of the Russian judiciary, and individuals responsible for the illegal deportation and military re-education of Ukrainian children.  All newly designated individuals and entities will be subject to assets freezes and travel bans in the European Union, and EU citizens and companies are prohibited from making funds available to them.  Among the designees is Valentina Vasilyevna Lavrick the so-called “Minister of Education, Science and Youth of the Republic of Crimea.”  According to the Council, Lavrick administers a system of militarized education — including the suppression of the Ukrainian language and culture — for Ukrainian children in Crimea, many of whom were transferred from occupied regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporozhzhia.

Council of the EU Press Release | Council Regulation (EU 2024/745 | Council Decision (CFSP) 2024/746 | Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2024/753 | Council Decision (CFSP) 2024/747