Why Do EU Members Unanimously Agree to Punish Russia?


The EU presidency declared recently that the EU now has the legal right to retaliate against anyone who aids Russia in evading its sanctions. Member states unanimously agreed, according to a statement, that disobeying sanctions against Russia should be regarded as an "EU crime" throughout the union. In retaliation for Russia's military action against Ukraine, the EU has placed a slew of fresh sanctions on the country. Find out in this article, what this actually implies.

What sanctions has the EU adopted?

The unjustified invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, and the illegitimate acquisition of its Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson regions prompted the EU to apply previously unheard-of sanctions against Russia. They increase the sanctions put in place against Russia since 2014 as a result of the annexation of Crimea and the failure to implement the Minsk agreements.

Individual sanctions targeted restrictive measures (economic sanctions), and visa restrictions are all examples of sanctions. The economic penalties are intended to hold Russia accountable for its conduct and to successfully obstruct Russian efforts to prolong the attack. Also, Know Russia Trade Statistics Individuals who support, finance, carry out, or who gain from actions that undermine Ukraine's territorial integrity, sovereignty, or independence are the subject of the sanctions.

Why EU Members Unanimously Agree to Punish Russia?

The EU presidency declared recently that disobeying sanctions against Russia should be regarded as an "EU crime" throughout the union. This would make it simpler to include people and organisations from non-EU nations in sanctions lists created to punish recent actions like Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Additionally, it would contribute to uniformity in the 27-member union's interpretation and application of EU sanctions law.

The statement, made by the bloc's current Czech presidency, claimed that "member states currently have varied conceptions of what constitutes a violation of restrictive measures and what consequences should be implemented in the case of a violation."

This may result in varying degrees of enforcement of sanctions and a risk that these measures be bypassed, potentially enabling sanctioned persons to access their assets and support regimes targeted by EU actions, according to the report.
The EU executive, the European Commission, will now draft a suggested legal directive in response to the member state's decision and submit it to the member states and European Parliament.

What are EU sanctions against Russia?

The export of and transactions involving food and agricultural items are not obstructed by the penalties. At the European Council on June 23–24, 2022, EU leaders emphasised that only Russia is to blame for the world food crisis and that EU sanctions do not target food or agricultural products. The EU and its member states place a high focus on affordable and secure access to food. EU sanctions only apply to bilateral trade between the EU and Russia and do not affect global trade.
Food supplies and fertilisers are expressly exempt from EU sanctions; food exports from Russia to international markets are not subject to restrictions. Anyone can manage, purchase, transport, and guarantee food and fertilisers leaving Russia. Certain potash fertilisers are subject to import restrictions as a result of EU sanctions, although these limitations do not apply to exports of these fertilisers from Russia or the EU to Ukraine

How is trade between the EU and Russia being punished?

The EU has imposed a variety of import and export restrictions on Russia as part of the economic measures. This creates that certain products cannot be exported from Russia to Europe, and certain things cannot be exported from Russia to the EU (import restrictions).

The list of restricted goods is intended to have the highest detrimental effect on the Russian economy while having the fewest negative effects on enterprises and persons in the EU. To safeguard the Russian population, the export and import limitations do not apply to goods that are significantly meant for consumption or those that are connected to health, medicine, food, or agriculture. The customs authorities of the EU enforce the bans.

Additionally, the EU has issued a statement reserving the right to stop treating Russia as a most-favourable nation inside the WTO framework in concert with other like-minded countries. Instead of raising import duties to address this, the EU has chosen to implement a series of restrictive measures, including import and export prohibitions on specific products. All work on Belarus' WTO membership has also been put on hold by the EU and its allies.

Does international law apply to EU sanctions?

Yes. All penalties imposed by the EU respect fundamental freedoms and human rights while adhering to their legal commitments under international law. The appropriate legal acts are drafted by the European External Action Service and/or the European Commission and submitted to the Council for adoption once a political agreement has been reached among EU member states.

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