22 July 2022


On 21 July, the Council adopted new measures intended to tighten existing economic sanctions targeting Russia, perfect their implementation and strengthen their effectiveness.

The so-called “maintenance and alignment” package introduces a new prohibition to purchase, import, or transfer, directly or indirectly, gold, if it originates in Russia and it has been exported from Russia into the EU or to any third country after. This prohibition also covers jewellery. The package also extends the list of controlled items, which may contribute to Russia’s military and technological enhancement or the development of its defence and security sector, thereby reinforcing export controls on dual use and advanced technology.

Furthermore, the new measures extend the existing port access ban to locks, which aims to avoid possible circumvention of the sanctions through canals, with the exception to access locks when leaving the EU (vessels need to access locks to leave, unlike ports). It means that Russian ships going towards the sea will be allowed to pass, but not those entering a canal or going further up a canal. The new measures also expand the scope of the prohibition on accepting deposits to include those from legal persons, entities or bodies established in third countries and majority-owned by Russian nationals or natural persons residing in Russia. The acceptance of deposits for non-prohibited cross-border trade will be subject to a prior authorisation by the national competent authorities.

The EU is also introducing a number of clarifications to existing measures, for instance in the field of aviation, where a new exemption will allow for sharing of information that is needed to enable the technical standard setting work of the International Civil Aviation Organization.

With a view to avoid any potential negative consequences for food and energy security around the world, the EU decided to extend the exemption from the prohibition to engage in transactions with certain state-owned entities as regards transactions for agricultural products and the transport of oil to third countries.

More information is available on the dedicated Q&A webpage.

Source: EU Council