European Commission proposes ban on Russian gold imports

Photo: ANP

The European Commission has issued a series of new sanctions against Russia, including a ban on imports of Russian gold into the EU. A number of individuals and companies will also be added to the existing sanctions list, which will also be extended by six months until the end of January 2023, the committee announced.

The EU’s executive council is talking about a “maintenance package”, which describes or tightens a number of measures already in place as punishment for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It is also more in line with the sanctions of other countries, especially those belonging to the G7 group. This mainly concerns the United States, Canada, Japan, and the United Kingdom. The G7, of which European Union countries Germany, France and Italy are also members, agreed at a summit in Germany last month to boycott Russian gold exports.

Gold exports earned Russia about 14.6 billion euros last year. In addition to fossil energy sources such as oil, gas and coal, precious metals are an important export product of Russia.

Part of the proposal, which must be unanimously approved by Member States, is to tighten controls over the export of goods that cannot be used only for peaceful purposes, and over the export of advanced technology.

“EU sanctions are hard and hitting hard,” EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said in a statement. “We continue to target the circle around President Putin and the Kremlin. Today’s steps mirror those of our international partners including the G7. I will also introduce additional individuals and companies whose assets we freeze and limit travel options.”

So far, the EU has agreed to six sanctions packages. A “maintenance package” including a boycott of gold is expected to be discussed by foreign ministers on Monday.

Winton Jensen

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