New EU sanctions target ‘Putin’s war machine’

The Union’s European High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, said sweeping new sanctions against Russia would target its ability to fund its war efforts in Ukraine. File photo by John Thys/EPA-EFE.

October 6 (UPI) — The sweeping new sanctions imposed on Russia, including a price cap on its crude oil, are proof of Europe’s determination to ‘stop Putin’s war machine’, the country’s foreign policy chief has said. block.

The European Union has adopted a new set of sanctions against Russia after the illegal annexation of the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson. What the bloc called “biting measures” include a price cap on seaborne shipments of Russian crude oil to third-party importers.

“This new sanctions package against Russia is proof of our determination to stop Putin’s war machine and respond to its latest escalation with bogus ‘referendums’ and the illegal annexation of Ukrainian territories,” the official said on Wednesday. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borell. “The EU will stand by Ukraine for as long as it takes.”

Russia largely leverages revenues from its oil and natural gas exports to fuel its economy. Sweeping sanctions targeting this revenue stream since the war in Ukraine broke out in late February have so far failed to exact the expected heavy toll.

A late August review by the World Economic Forum highlighted expectations that the Russian economy would contract by 12%, but the Kremlin itself forecast negative growth of around 4%.

The growing chorus of voices condemning Russia’s aggression, especially its nuclear saber rattling, nevertheless created problems for the Kremlin, problems that were highlighted by the mounting battlefield victories for the Ukrainian army.

But this week’s decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their non-member allies, a group known as OPEC+, to cut their coordinated production allocations by 2 million barrels a day in November could play a role. in Russia’s favor if commodity prices go up as a result.

The latest set of EU sanctions, however, could limit some of these gains through a cap on oil prices. The EU proposal would allow some Russian oil to flow, but only if purchased at or below a yet to be determined price.

A price cap would be difficult to coordinate, although its adoption marks a breakthrough in EU negotiations. Elsewhere, the EU said it was extending the embargo on steel products made or sent from Russia as well as a wide range of other products, from cigarettes to cosmetics.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen welcomed the swift adoption of the latest sanctions.

“We are determined to keep making the Kremlin pay,” she said.

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