Ukraine conflict: EU adopts sixth package of sanctions against Russia

10 June 2022

As the invasion of Ukraine continues for the fourth month, the European Commission adopts the sixth package of restrictive measures against Russia. Together with the previous five packages, the sanctions are designed to further increase economic pressure on Russia and undermine its ability to wage its war on Ukraine. The sixth package also imposes further sanctions against Belarus for its involvement in the aggression.

Below are outlined the main elements of the latest package adopted on June 3, 2022.

The Commission imposed an embargo on the imports of crude oil and refined oil products from Russia, which covers 90 % of the current oil imports from the country. The ban will be subject to certain transition periods to allow the sector and global markets to adapt, while a special temporary derogation (due to specific dependencies) has been agreed for Bulgaria (until the end of 2024) and Croatia (until the end of 2023 – to import Russian vacuum gas oil).

After a period of 6 months, EU operators will no longer be allowed to insure and finance the transport of oil to third countries, which will make it particularly difficult for Russia to continue exporting its crude oil and petroleum products to the rest of the world.

Furthermore, additional three Russian banks, critical for the Russian financial system, have been removed from SWIFT, and the provision of certain business-relevant services (i.e. accounting, auditing, statutory audit, bookkeeping and tax consulting services etc.) to the Russian government as well as to legal persons, entities or bodies is now also prohibited.

Next, the broadcasting activities of three Russian State outlets, that are supporting the aggression, have been suspended and will now be barred from distributing their content across the EU (either on cable, via satellite, on the internet or via smartphone apps).

Lastly, there are additional export restrictions included in the sixth package. The list has been expanded to include additional chemicals that could be used in the process of manufacturing chemical weapons. Moreover, the package also expands the list of natural, legal persons or entities associated with Russia's military-industrial complex, involved in various sectors – electronics, communications, weapons, engineering etc.

The Commission is ready to put forward additional sanctions should the aggression against Ukraine still evolve in the future.