EU agrees 13th round of Russia sanctions

Latest package should take effect in time for two-year mark of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

European Union member countries agreed Wednesday on a 13th round of sanctions against Russia that should take effect in time for the two-year mark of Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine this Saturday.

The latest measures come as Russia wins ground on the battlefield and Ukraine struggles with a shortage of western-supplied ammunition. The EU faces mounting criticism that the sanctions already in force are failing to haltPresident Vladimir Putin’s ability to wage his war of aggression.

Still, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen welcomed the agreement, saying in a post on X: “We must keep degrading Putin’s war machine.”

The package adds around 200 names to the list of sanctioned individuals banned from traveling to the EU, while both the individuals and companies face freezes on their assets.

This regulation, known by the number 269/2014, has also been extended for anther six months. For review purposes, both sanction regimes have to be voted through twice a year. The law was set to expire by March 15, but EU ambassadors agreed to extend it already now.

Separately, a number of entities are newly listed in a naming-and-shaming law — 833/2014 in EU lingo — that prohibits them from importing certain goods from Europe. This list for the first time also adds entities from mainland China, whereas only Hong Kong, Uzbekistan and Iran-based companies were on the list, the so-called Annex IV.

Even though the Belgian Presidency of the Council called the 13th pacakge “one of the broadest approved,” the bloc opted to keep this edition fairly simple and avoided pushing for tougher sanctions, such as on metals imports, where agreement would have been elusive.

A formal written procedure will turn the agreement into law by February 24, the Belgian presidency said.

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