On May 3, 2022, the European Commission adopted Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2022/699 to remove Russia as a destination from the scope of Union general export authorizations (GEAs), in response to the Russia’s ongoing attack on Ukraine and the direct threat that the conflict poses to EU’s peace and security. When Regulation (EU) 2021/821 was adopted, eight Union GEAs were established for the export of certain items and destinations under specified conditions and requirements. The Commission reports that, currently, three GEAs can be used for Russian exports – EU003 (re-export of items repaired or replaced in the EU), EU004 (export of items for fairs or exhibitions), and EU005 (export of telecommunications equipment). The newly adopted Regulation removes Russia from the destination lists of GEAs Nos EU003, EU004, and EU005 in an effort to disrupt Russia’s access to critical technologies and dual-use items.
On May 4, 2022, President of the Commission Ursula von der Leyen also announced the EU’s sixth package of sanctions against Russia during a speech at the European Parliament plenary session. According to President von der Leyen, the Commission proposed the listing of high-ranking Russian military officers and others responsible for war crimes in cities of Bucha and Mariupol in Ukraine; imposed restrictive measures against three major Russian banks, including Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank; and banned three Russian state-owned broadcasters from EU airwaves. The EU will also ban the provision of accounting and other consultation services to Russian companies, and, in an effort to phase out the dependence on Russian energy, proposed a gradual ban on Russian crude oil over the next six months and refined products by the end of the year.