Press play to listen to this article
EU capitals will today ban arms trade with Russia as part of their latest package of sanctions against the Kremlin, six EU officials and diplomats told POLITICO.
The latest arms import and export ban is contained in Article 2 of the sanctions package seen by POLITICO. It excludes the direct or indirect supply, export or sale of arms, ammunition, equipment, military vehicles and spare parts to Russia – with certain exceptions.
The ban also extends to other services in the military market, such as brokerage services and technical assistance. Financing military activities with Russia through grants, loans, insurance or guarantees is also prohibited. It reflects a 2014 arms embargobut drops a clause that allows the continuation of existing contracts.
“It’s about closing loopholes to avoid circumventing sanctions that are already in place,” said one of the diplomats on condition of anonymity as the latest sanctions package is not yet fully public.
But the fact that these loopholes remain even after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 risks embarrassing EU leaders. The reminder of the existence of the loopholes also comes at a bad time, just as NATO agrees to step up arms sales to Ukraine.
The Council of EU Governments made no mention of the ban in one earlier press release Today, the focus is instead on banning Russian coal imports and restricting cryptocurrency trading. The full paperwork is due to be released later in the day.
Another diplomat speculated that the ban was omitted from the press release so as not to draw attention to the arms trade some EU capitals had with Russia despite a similar embargo when Moscow decided to annex Crimea in 2014.
A journalist detection Disclose, for example, found that between 2015 and 2020, the French Ministry of Defense had sold €152 million worth of military equipment to Moscow. The equipment sold included thermal imaging cameras for tanks and infrared sensors for fighter jets and helicopters, the investigation said. Also examine Europe showed that the EU continued to supply arms to Russia despite the 2014 embargo.
The ministry has denied violating the sanctions Award Treaties signed between Paris and Moscow before 2014.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba expressed outrage that some Russian vehicles used parts made by the German company Bosch during the war. The company did not respond to a request for comment from POLITICO, but previously told German media that it would conduct an investigation into the components and insisted it would stop making new deliveries.
Lili Bayer contributed the reporting.
https://www.politico.eu/article/russia-vladimir-putin-invaded-ukraine-eu-stops-selling-weapons-to-russia/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication 6 weeks after Putin invaded Ukraine, EU cracks down on arms sales to Russia - POLITICO