Two ruling-clan people, seven mercenary companies, and a ban on all Russian diamonds are to be added to EU blacklists in time for Christmas.
The elite names embrace Russian president Vladimir Putin’s cousin (Anna Putina-Tsivilyova) and Russian ex-president Dmitry Medvedev’s son (Ilya Medvedev) — who had been dubbed conflict propagandists in draft new sanctions seen by EUobserver on Thursday (16 November).
The draft record included only one minor oligarch, Rustem Sulteev, and his spouse Lidia.
It referred to as out Yury Chikhanchin, head of Russia’s counter-terrorism company, Rosfinmonitoring, for having “consistently placed persons and entities considered critical to the Kremlin on its ‘terrorism and extremism’ register, including journalists and Western-owned social media platforms”.
The EU had beforehand blacklisted Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, which went down in flames in August after its boss, Yevgeny Prigozhin, challenged Russian president Putin’s authority.
Its draft new record stated seven different mercenary companies had been now lively in Ukraine in Russia’s hybrid constructions.
The Moscow-based Redut, as an example, did pre-invasion reconnaissance in Ukraine and was later “linked to assassination attempts against [Ukrainian president] Volodymyr Zelenskyy,” the EU stated.
It was based by 54-year-old Russian Anatoli Karazi, who can also be to be blacklisted, and who was “a former member of and head of intelligence for the Wagner group”.
The St. Andrew’s Cross mercenary agency was “created by the Russian Orthodox Church in 2017,” the EU famous.
This had “volunteer battalions”, skilled Russian troopers, and “offered tactical training to Russian combatants participating in Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine”.
Convoy, a agency from St. Petersburg, was stated to do intelligence gathering for the Russian ministry of defence in Russian-occupied Crimea in Ukraine.
Fake and Potok had been two “volunteer battalions” made up “mostly of Gazprom employees, predominantly working in the security guard branch,” the EU famous.
RSB Group was made from ex-soldiers and ex-spies who skilled Russian particular forces for operations in Ukraine, the EU stated.
And Tsarskie Volki consisted of “military-technical experts who work on the development of weapons and explosive materials” in the Russia-occupied Donetsk and Luhansk areas in Ukraine, the EU stated.
Tsarskie Volki “developed the so-called ‘Marker’ robotic tank which has served to destroy Ukrainian armoured vehicles”, the EU added.
The EU paperwork additionally detailed a proposed wide-ranging ban on Russian diamonds, which is being coordinated with Canada, Japan, the UK, and the US.
The EU is to ban “unsorted diamonds”, in addition to most “non-industrial” and “synthetic ones”.
Its record additionally consists of any “articles of jewellery”, “articles of natural and cultured pearls”, and “goldsmiths’ or silversmiths’ wares … incorporating diamonds”.
It even stretches to “wristwatches, pocket-watches and other watches, including stopwatches, incorporating diamonds”.
“This prohibition applies to diamonds originating in Russia, diamonds exported from Russia, diamonds transiting Russia and Russian diamonds when processed (i.e. cut and/or polished) in third countries,” in addition to “jewellery incorporating diamonds originating in Russia,” an EU sanctions memo stated.
The Russia diamond ban is to begin from 1 January 2024.
The ban on Russian stones reduce in third-countries is to be phased in from 1 September subsequent yr, taking “into consideration the need to deploy an appropriate traceability mechanism that enables effective enforcement measures,” the EU stated.
The diamond ban is to return with new restrictions on shopping for Russian iron, copper, aluminium, and liquified propane in a bid to empty Putin’s pockets.
The EU measures are additionally meant to deal an additional blow to Russia’s high-tech industries.
Out of the 47 people and 72 entities to be added to the record, most had been minor Russian officers and defence companies.
But a number of of the draft-blacklisted defence companies labored in areas similar to avionics, satellite tv for pc navigation, or optoelectronics.
Some seven to-be-blacklisted Russian IT companies labored in the sector of “encryption and cryptography technology, information systems, and telecommunication systems for the Russian intelligence services”.
Most of the opposite people had been low-level Russian army officers and officers concerned in holding bogus referendums in Ukraine.
But a number of Russians had been uncovered for abusing Ukrainian kids.
The EU stated Serafim Ivanov, who labored in a paramilitary brigade in Russia-occupied Kherson in Ukraine “took an active part in militarisation of Ukrainian children”, the EU stated.
Dmitry Polokovnikov, who labored for a patriot group in Russia-occupied Crimea, supplied “military training for children”, the EU added.
Russia’s Avangard centre in Crimea gave kids “a military-patriotic education in order to prepare them for service in Russia’s armed forces”.
Hungary and Austria
EU diplomats will fine-tune particulars of the proposal in the run-up to an EU summit in December earlier than the year-end trip.
EU leaders may also talk about whether or not to open accession talks with Ukraine, the way to pace up the supply of ammunition, and whether or not to grab Russian funds to pay for Ukraine’s reconstruction.
For its half, Russia-friendly Hungary has already spoken out towards the Ukraine talks transfer.
But it may not be the one one cautious of inviting such an enormous new member to affix the France-and-Germany-dominated membership.
“For sure, Austria will be obstructive, but it will hide behind Hungary,” an EU diplomat stated.
“Despite its new rhetoric, France doesn’t really want Ukraine in the EU and Germany is playing a cynical game,” he stated.
“They [Germany] want to force changes in the EU treaty in the name of enlargement, such as more qualified-majority voting. The changes will give Berlin more power, but the Germans don’t really believe Ukraine will join,” he added.