The EU imposed its sixth package of economic and individual sanctions with the adoption of Council Decision (CFSP) 2022/884 on June 3, 2022, which targets both Russia and Belarus for the reported atrocities committed by Russian troops during its continuing war against Ukraine with Belarus’ support. According to Josep Borrel, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the new package is aimed at limiting the Kremlin’s ability to finance the war by cutting off massive sources of revenue for Russia and limiting the spread of war propaganda by Russian President Putin.
The new sanctions include a prohibition on the purchase, import or transfer of crude oil and other petroleum products from Russia into the EU. The EU Council reports that the phase out period for Russian crude oil will take 6 months while other refined petroleum products will take 8 months. Temporary exceptions may include the import of crude oil via pipeline to EU Member States with no viable alternatives to Russian supplies due to their geographic situation, while Bulgaria and Croatia will have temporary derogations for the import of Russian seaborne crude oil and vacuum gas oil respectively.
The EU also extended the ban on SWIFT services to one Belarusian bank and three additional Russian financial institutions, including Sberbank Russia’s largest bank, and suspended broadcasting activities in the EU for three additional Russian state-owned media outlets that continue to spread disinformation about the war in Ukraine. The Council emphasized, however, that these media outlets will be able to engage in research and interviews in the EU and activities other than broadcasting.
The EU also added new Russian and Belarusian entities the list of persons subject to export restrictions regarding dual-use goods and technologies. The EU will also expand the list of goods and technology which may enhance Russia’s defense and security sector, including the addition of 80 chemicals which can be used to produce chemical weapons. There are also new prohibitions on the provision of certain services to Russia, including accounting, public relations, and consultancy services.
The sixth package also includes additional sanctions upon individuals and entities responsible for the atrocities committed in Bucha and Mariupol, those who support the war, companies that operate in the defense and financial sectors, and persons associated with Russian oligarchs and Kremlin officials, including their family members.