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EU adopts new sanctions and vows to ramp up pressure on Russia

The European Union has implemented a tenth round of sanctions against Russia, signaling its intention to increase pressure on Moscow until Ukraine is freed from what it calls “brutal Russian aggression.” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has warned that more sanctions will be piled on Russia in the coming days.

The latest sanctions package is the most extensive to date and targets several areas, including Russia’s banking sector, access to technology that can be used for both civilian and military purposes, and advanced technologies. In particular, the sanctions ban the export of electronic components used in Russian weapons systems, specific rare earth materials, and thermal cameras.

Furthermore, tighter export restrictions have been placed on 96 entities that support Russia’s military and industrial complex. For the first time, seven Iranian entities manufacturing military drones used by Moscow have also been included in the list.

Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, and Prime Minister, Denys Shmyhal, have urged the EU to continue increasing the costs of Russia’s invasion. They have called for more pressure and restrictions, especially in the area of the nuclear industry and the activities of Rosatom.

The implementation of these sanctions came after hectic last-minute negotiations among the EU member states. Poland had initially opposed the proposed restrictions on EU imports of Russian rubber, stating that the quota of exempted imports was too high and that there were long transition periods that would make the restrictions ineffective.

However, despite the delay caused by Poland’s objections, all EU member states ultimately approved the sanctions. The negotiations took longer than expected, highlighting the challenges of getting all 27 EU member states to agree on a single issue.

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