EU Adopts 12th Sanctions Package against Russia

Monday, 18 December 2023

The Council of the European Union completed the process of adopting the 12th package of sanctions against Russia on Monday, 18 December.

As the EU Council statemed, the 12th package of sanctions assumes a ban on the direct or indirect import, purchase or transfer of diamonds from Russia. The ban, previously agreed at the G7 level, will take effect from 1 January 2024; restrictions on Russian diamonds processed in third countries will be implemented from 1 March to 1 September 2024.

The sanctions package also stipulates that EU exporters will be contractually prohibited from re-exporting to Russia and re-exporting for use in Russia of sensitive goods and technologies when entering into agreements with third countries.

Chemicals, lithium batteries, thermostats, DC motors and servomotors for drones, machine tools and parts of machines and mechanisms were added to the list of goods banned from export to Russia.


The European Union imposes additional restrictions on imports of pig iron and spiegeleisen, copper wires, aluminium wires, foil, tubes and pipes worth €2.2 billion per year, and bans imports of liquefied propane (LPG) with a 12-month transition period. At the same time, the periods of gradual reduction of imports of certain types of steel products continue.

At the same time, the EU Council added an exception to the restrictions on imports of personal use items from Russia (previously they could be confiscated at customs) and for cars with diplomatic licence plates. As for ordinary cars, EU countries may allow their entry if they are not for sale and are used exclusively for personal purposes.

A separate block of EU sanctions decisions in the 12th package concerns the strengthening of existing restrictions.

The European Union extends the ban on transit through Russia to all military goods, and prohibits Russian citizens from owning, controlling or holding any positions in the governing bodies of legal entities that provide cryptocurrency services to Russians. The current prohibition on the provision of services to Russian individuals also applies to the provision of company management software and industrial design and manufacturing software.

The EU is also introducing a requirement to report the transfer of funds outside the EU by any legal entity within the EU linked to a Russian legal entity or a Russian citizen or individual residing in Russia.

The EU is strengthening its oil price cap requirements, in particular, to better identify vessels and entities that help Russia circumvent this restriction. EU companies that sell tankers to third parties must notify the EU.

In addition, according to the decision of the EU Council, Switzerland will join restrictive measures on imports of iron and steel from Russia and a set of import control measures that are virtually equivalent to the EU's measures.

Finally, the individual sanctions lists were expanded. The EU added 29 new individuals and entities that directly support Russia's military-industrial complex, including those from third countries, as well as a significant number of additional individuals and entities.

The EU summit decision published on 14 December contained a phrase that the EU "welcomes the adoption" of the 12th package of sanctions against Russia. However, it later became known that a legal agreement had not yet been reached and was being blocked by Austria due to the declaration of Raiffeisen as an international war sponsor.

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