The European Union has adopted a fresh packaged of sanctions on the Russian Federation, which will raise the cost of its aggression in Ukraine by over €11 billion, the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Saturday.
More than 100 individuals and entities have been newly sanctioned, as a result of the measures, while some of the measures were specifically proposed by Estonia, including sanctions on three major Russian banks, and a ban on transit of Russian goods via third countries, principally in central Asia.
Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) said: "Estonia and the EU continue to work to make sanctions as severe and efficient as possible, and affect the sectors that Russia relies on the most in financing its aggression against Ukraine."
The minister added that this package will not and cannot be the last, adding both Estonia and the EU will continue to impose stronger sanctions on Russia.
The banning on the transit of transit of sanctioned dual-use goods and weapons through Russia to third countries, mainly in Central Asia, was included in the latest round, at Estonia's proposal.
The practice had provided a loophole for sanctions evasion, on the part of Russia.
Two pro-Kremlin, Arabic-language TV stations are also sanctioned: RT Arabic and Sputnik Arabic. As with both brands in English and other languages, the channels had been propagating Russian propaganda.
Additionally, Russian citizens are under the terms of the new sanctions no longer allowed to belong to the management of companies providing critical services within the EU.
Furthermore, Russian natural persons and legal entities now cannot store natural gas in underground storage facilities within EU terrain.
EU central banks and financial sectors must now notify European Commission of the location of assets owned by the Russian Central Bank, part of a wider process of freezing Russian assets and potentially utilizing these for Ukraine's post-war reconstruction.
Existing export bans have been extended to cover as many components which may be of use to the Russian military as is possible.
New additions to the blacklist include rare earth minerals, electronic components, machinery and parts thereof, trucks, cameras and camera lenses, and many other products and tech Ukraine has found in Russian military equipment.
Meanwhile, import bans expand have been put in place on goods which bring more than €1 billion in combined profits to Russia, including asphalt, bitumen and various rubber products.
Eighty-seven individuals and 34 companies are added to the sanctions list, including propagandists, military staff, politicians, leading figures of annexed territories and of the notorious mercenary organization the Wagner Group, individuals responsible for deporting Ukrainian children, individuals involved in supplying Russia with Iranian drones, defence industry companies, shipping companies and, as noted at Estonia's proposal, three large Russian banks. With the most recent restrictive measures, nearly 1,700 individuals and entities have been sanctioned for undermining Ukraine's territorial integrity.
The package is the tenth of its kind since Russia launched its unprovoked, large-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, which in turn followed the 2014 annexation of Crimea, and the start of the insurgency war in eastern Ukraine.
More detailed information on the sanctions is available from the foreign ministry's website here.
Editor: Andrew Whyte