Press statement by President von der Leyen on a new package of restrictive measures against Russia

We wanted to present together the eighth package of sanctions. Last week, Russia has escalated the invasion of Ukraine to a new level. The sham referenda organised in the territories that Russia occupied are an illegal attempt to grab land and to change international borders by force. The mobilisation and Putin's threat to use nuclear weapons are further steps on the escalation path.

We do not accept the sham referenda nor any kind of annexation in Ukraine. And we are determined to make the Kremlin pay for this further escalation. So today, we are together proposing a new package of biting sanctions against Russia.

The first part concerns the listing of individuals and entities that will be presented by the HR/VP, Josep Borrell, in a moment.

I want to focus on the second part of these sanctions that will further restrict trade. By that, we isolate and hit Russia's economy even more. So we propose sweeping new import bans on Russian products. This will keep Russian products out of the European market and deprive Russia of an additional EUR 7 billion in revenues. We are also proposing to extend the list of products that cannot be exported to Russia anymore. The aim is here to deprive the Kremlin's military complex of key technologies. For example, this includes additional aviation items, or electronic components and specific chemical substances. These new export bans will additionally weaken Russia's economic base and will weaken its capacity to modernise. We will also propose additional bans on providing European services to Russia, and a prohibition for EU nationals to sit on governing bodies of Russian state-owned enterprises. Russia should not benefit from European knowledge and expertise.

The third complex is concerning Russian oil. As you know, Russia is using the profits from the sale of fossil fuels to finance its war. Concerning Russian oil, you might recall that we have already agreed to ban seaborne Russian crude oil in the European Union as of 5 December. But we also know that certain developing countries still need some Russian oil supplies, but at low prices. Thus, the G7 has agreed in principle to introduce a price cap on Russian oil for third countries. This oil price cap will help reduce Russia's revenues on the one hand and it will keep global energy markets stable on the other hand. Today, in this package, here, we are laying the legal basis for this oil price cap.

And my last point that I want to focus on is: We are stepping up our efforts to crack down on circumvention of sanctions. Here, we are adding a new category. In this category, we will be able to list individuals if they circumvent our sanctions. So for example, if they buy goods in the European Union, bring them to third countries and then to Russia, this would be a circumvention of our sanctions, and those individuals could be listed. I think this will have a major deterring effect. Our sanctions have hit Putin's system hard. They have made it more difficult for him to sustain the war. And we are increasing our efforts here and moving forward.