Statement by President von der Leyen on the 10th package of sanctions against Russia

European Union, 2023European Union, 2023

For almost one year now, Russia’s war of aggression has been sowing death and destruction. Putin is not only waging a brutal war on the battlefield but he is also viciously targeting civilians. The aggressor has to pay for this. Today, we are turning up the pressure with a 10th package of sanctions.

First, we propose further export bans worth more than €11 billion, to deprive the Russian economy of critical technology and industrial goods. For maximum impact, we are targeting many industrial goods that Russia needs, and that it cannot get through backfilling by third countries. Vital goods such as electronics, specialized vehicles, machine parts, spare parts for trucks and jet engines. And we are targeting goods for the construction sector which can be directed to Russia’s military, such as antennas or cranes.

Second, we will further restrict the export of dual use goods and advanced tech goods. We propose controls on 47 new electronic components that can be used in Russian weapons systems, including drones, missiles, helicopters. And on specific rare earth materials and thermal cameras. With this, we have banned all tech products found on the battlefield. And we will make sure they don’t find other ways to get there. This is why, for the first time ever, we are adding third country entities to the Russia dual use sanctions. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have been providing Russia with Shahed drones to attack civilian infrastructure in Ukraine. Therefore, we are now adding seven Iranian entities to our dual use regime. They are now under a complete ban to sell sensitive items to Russia. And we stand ready to list further Iranian and other third country entities that are providing sensitive technology to Russia. This should act as a strong deterrent to other companies and international traders.

My third point is about Russia’s propaganda machine. Putin is also waging war in the public space, with an army of propagandists and disinformation networks. They are spreading toxic lies to polarise our societies. So we are proposing to list Putin’s propagandists as well as additional military and political commanders. High Representative Borrell will provide you more information on the listings we are proposing today.

We now have in place the toughest sanctions ever introduced by the European Union. And we have to ensure that they are strictly applied. Therefore, our 10th package introduces new measures to prevent circumvention. This is my fourth point. We will track oligarchs trying to hide or to sell their assets to escape sanctions. And together with Member States we will set up an overview of all frozen assets of the Russian central bank held in the EU. We need to know where these are located and how much they are worth. This is crucial in view of the possible use of public Russian assets to fund reconstruction in Ukraine.

And finally, we are working closely with Member States, operators and partner countries to tackle circumvention. Our special envoy David O’Sullivan is reaching out to third countries, to ensure strict implementation of sanctions and prevent circumvention. And next week, we will organise a Sanctions Coordinators Forum, gathering our international partners and Member States, to strengthen enforcement efforts. Together, we are tightening the screws on Russia more and more. I call on the Member States to adopt this new package of sanctions swiftly. Our aim is to have, together with our G7 partners, further significant sanctions in place by February 24 – exactly one year after Putin launched his imperial war.