Russia’s illegal war of aggression against Ukraine: EU agrees to extend the scope of sanctions on Belarus to fight circumvention

The European Commission welcomes today’s adoption by the Council of further targeted restrictive measures arising from Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, and in response to Belarus’s involvement in the aggression.

In particular, the new measures create a closer alignment of EU sanctions targeting Russia and Belarus and will help to ensure that Russian sanctions cannot be circumvented through Belarus.

The measures expand the ban on exports to Belarus to a number of highly sensitive goods and technologies which contribute to Belarus’s military and technological enhancement. The Council also imposes an additional export ban on firearms and ammunition, and on goods and technology suited for use in aviation and the space industry. The changes also align the Belarus sanctions with the Russia sanctions regime.

These restrictive measures are fast-tracked in view of the urgency linked to the fight against circumvention regarding certain highly sensitive goods and technologies. They are without prejudice to the remainder of the proposals presented by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Commission to amend Decision 2012/642/CFSP and Regulation (EC) No 765/2006 on 26 January 2023, which remain on the table.

The EU’s sanctions against Russia are proving effective. They are limiting Russia’s ability to wage the war against Ukraine, including to manufacture new weapons and repair existing ones, as well as hinder its transport of material.

The geopolitical, economic, and financial implications of Russia’s continued war of aggression against Ukraine are clear, as the war has disrupted global commodities markets, especially for agrifood products and energy. The EU continues to ensure that its sanctions do not impact energy and agrifood exports from Russia to third countries.

As guardian of the EU Treaties, the European Commission monitors the enforcement of EU sanctions by EU Member States.

In addition, the European Commission is determined to make every effort to ensure that the sanctions are implemented and is committed to combating their circumvention. As part of the 11th package of sanctions against Russia, the EU has adopted new anti-circumvention measures in June 2023. The EU continues to work closely with third countries, and will continue providing guidance and technical assistance on the scope of EU sanctions.

The EU stands united in its solidarity with Ukraine, and will continue to support Ukraine and its people together with its international partners, including through additional political, financial, military and humanitarian support for as long as necessary.

EU sanctions