EU Commission to Sanction Iranian Entities for Supplying Drones to Russia
The European Commission has proposed to sanction Iranian entities that are responsible for supplying drones to Moscow, according to EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen. The sanctions, which will be the tenth package of measures against Russia since the beginning of its war of aggression against Ukraine in February 2022, are aimed at crippling Russia’s war economy.
The package, which is worth 11 billion euros and is expected to be adopted before the anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, will include bans on the export of dual-use and advanced tech goods to Russia, as well as on specific rare earth materials and thermal cameras. It will also introduce extensive trade restrictions on goods used by Russia’s military, including technologies, components, heavy vehicles, electronics, and rare-earths, with the goal of blocking exports towards Russia of all tech products found on the battlefield.
The bans will target Iranian companies for their “supply of drones and the transfer of know-how to build production sites in Russia,” von der Leyen said. For the first time, the EU is also proposing to impose sanctions on seven entities connected to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps that are involved in the delivery of drones to Russia for its war against Ukraine.
The package also includes additional trade bans on imports into the EU of Russian rubber and asphalt or bitumen (an oil product), as well as exports into Russia of EU goods including trucks, other heavy vehicles, construction machines, pumps and other machines used in the construction sector. It will also ban Russian nationals from holding executive positions in “critical infrastructure” firms, such as owners of gas-storage facilities, and restrict Russian nationals from holding posts in the governing bodies of the operators of critical European infrastructures and entities.
To stop third countries from providing Russia with such goods, the package has been aimed at Iran for the first time. Russia has utilized Iranian-manufactured drones to strike Ukrainian infrastructure targets. In the months prior to the invasion, the Iranian government only conceded to supplying Russia with drones.
The EU is also aiming to force banks to report information on Russian Central Bank assets as part of the bloc’s latest sanctions package targeting Moscow for its war in Ukraine.
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