Brussels, November 14, 2023: Brussels is gearing up to present a set of robust sanctions against Russia in response to the conflict in Ukraine. EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, announced the forthcoming 12th package, outlining plans to broaden the list of sanctions, introduce new export bans, and specifically target Moscow’s diamond exports. The proposal also includes measures to tighten the oil price cap, ultimately reducing Russia’s revenue.
For these sanctions to take effect, unanimous approval from all 27 EU member countries is required. Notably, the EU is poised to implement a ban on Russian diamonds, a significant shift as Belgium, a key trading hub, dropped its longstanding opposition following discussions within the G7. The group formulated a plan to trace the origin of precious stones, contributing to the EU’s decision.
This renewed push for sanctions unfolds against the backdrop of the EU’s ongoing struggle to devise a long-term plan for funding weapons in Ukraine. Borrell had previously introduced a 4-year, 20 billion euro scheme in July, aiming to finance arms deliveries to Kyiv. However, the initiative faced challenges, with key countries like Germany expressing reluctance to bear the financial burden.
Borrell remains optimistic about presenting a revised plan for defense funding for Ukraine at the upcoming EU leaders’ summit in December. The discussions around these proposals underscore the intricate challenges the EU faces in navigating diplomatic and financial complexities amidst the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.