'Weak' 13th package of EU sanctions against Russia will not include import bans – Reuters
European Commission (Photo: EPA)

The European Commission will not add any new import bans in the next package of sanctions against Russia as the 13th package of proposals takes its final form, reported Reuters with reference to diplomats of the European Union, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Radio Liberty journalist Rikard Jozwiak called it "the weakest and most unambitious package to date".

Despite calls from some EU countries to ban more Russian exports, such as aluminum, the Commission will propose a package that it hopes will cause minimal debate among member states, allowing it to be adopted quickly. EU member states must vote for new sanctions unanimously.

"There will be hundreds of listings... entities and individuals. No big (company) names," one of the diplomats told Reuters, noting that the European Commission's proposal, which may come as early as this week, will also expand the list of Russian companies to which EU firms will not be able to sell dual purpose goods.

The sources noted that after the adoption of the 13th package of sanctions, the European Commission will quickly propose the 14th package of measures, which may contain some new import bans.

Journalist Jozwiak wrote that, judging by the statements, the 13th package of EU sanctions against Russia will consist only of visa bans and freezing of assets of about 250 individuals and organizations.

"To coincide with the second anniversary of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine it is set to be the weakest and most unambitious package to date," he said.

The news agency notes Brussels believes there are few remaining areas on which EU countries could reach unanimous agreement, with sanctions on Russian nuclear fuel and liquefied natural gas not up for discussion yet.

On December 15, 2023, the EU adopted the 12th package of sanctions against Russia. The purpose of the package is to introduce additional bans on Russia's imports and exports, combat sanctions evasion, and close loopholes.