Portugal wants more effective sanctions on Russia in new package to prevent leaks

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The secretary of state for European affairs is calling for “more effective” European Union (EU) sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, as the European Commission finalizes a new package of measures to prevent circumvention of restrictions.

“Right now an 11th package is starting to be discussed and we are waiting for the Commission’s proposals, but we know that they will be very much focused on trying to prevent evasion of existing sanctions and therefore make it more effective, more efficient, in order to guarantee the effectiveness of the existing sanctions,” says Tiago Antunes.

Tiago Antunes
Tiago Antunes

In an intervie regarding the celebration of Europe Day, an event marked today, the official refuses to comment on the news about possible restrictive measures to Chinese companies close to Russian oligarchs, arguing instead that “the next package [of sanctions] will be very focused on this idea of the effectiveness of sanctions and to avoid mechanisms to evade sanctions.

“This is very important because, of course, those who are covered by these sanctions try to find every possible way to circumvent them, and therefore the EU must regularly remain vigilant and maintain a very, very significant effort to close all possible loopholes through which, particularly the oligarchs, exploit the possibility of evading the existing sanctions regimes,” the Secretary of State for European Affairs lists.

Tiago Antunes adds that “it is very important that this be adopted and this therefore includes important partners of Russian oligarchs.

In addition, the ruler points out that the 10 sanctions packages in place “are quite robust and quite powerful and have in fact limited Russia’s ability to carry out and intensify its war effort.”

“This has had an effective impact in limiting Russia’s offensive power,” he concludes.

On Monday, the European Commission confirmed that it has submitted the 11th package of sanctions on Russia to the EU Council.

Coreper (acronym for Committee of Permanent Representatives of the Governments of the Member States of the European Union, i.e. the ambassadors of the 27 to the EU) begins examining the new package on Wednesday.

The EU imposed sanctions on Russia in response to the war of aggression unleashed against Ukraine, which began on February 24, 2022, and the illegal annexation of the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporijia and Kherson.

The sanctions include specific restrictive measures (individual sanctions), economic sanctions and visa measures and are in addition to the measures imposed on Russia since 2014 following the annexation of the Crimean peninsula and the non-implementation of the Minsk agreements (concerning the conflict in eastern Ukraine between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russian separatists).

The purpose of the economic sanctions is to cause serious consequences to Russia for its actions and to effectively impede Moscow’s ability to continue the military offensive against Ukraine.

Individual sanctions target persons responsible for supporting, financing, or carrying out actions that undermine the territorial integrity, sovereignty, and independence of Ukraine, or who benefit from such actions.

The Russian military offensive on Ukrainian territory has plunged Europe into what is considered the most serious security crisis since World War II (1939-1945).

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