EU leaders agree new package of sanctions on Russia: Polish PM

Poland’s prime minister has said that he and fellow European Union leaders have reached agreement on a ninth package of sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. 

Mateusz Morawiecki.

Mateusz Morawiecki.PAP/Andrzej Lange

Mateusz Morawiecki made the announcement after a European Council summit in Brussels on Thursday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

He told a media briefing: “After two rounds of negotiations, the new sanctions have been agreed upon. These sanctions demonstrate that we are credible and, secondly, we have maintained unity among member states.”

He added: “Russia is seeking to wear down the EU and divide the bloc. We have not allowed this to happen.”

Morawiecki stated: “The adopted ninth package of individual and economic sanctions is another important step towards weakening Russia’s power. We have also introduced a ban on investments in the mining sector in Russia, which has not existed so far.”  

The Polish prime minister said: „At the request of Poland and Lithuania, we proposed to evaluate sanctions against Russia in a 12-month cycle to reinforce the entire process.”

He added: “I want to thank Lithuania, with whom we firmly negotiated important provisions.”

Morawiecki told reporters that the final decision on a 12-month cycle for evaluating sanctions would be taken at the next European Council summit. 

Dual-use products, drones, banks

Summarising the new sanctions package, Morawiecki said: “Individual sanctions will cover some 200 members of the Russian elite, while economic sanctions extend the list of dual-use products that will be subject to increased export controls.”

He added: “This is very important. Everyone who knows the characteristics of the Russian economy is aware how badly they wanted this new package not to include such a sanction.”

Morawiecki told reporters that the new package would cut Russia’s access to drones, “which can be used for civilian purposes, but as we know very well, they can also be used to attack innocent people, which is precisely what Russia is doing.”

The package also includes punitive measures against more Russian banks, more Russian TV channels disseminating official propaganda, as well as against people responsible “for the kidnapping of Ukrainian children to Russia,” among other measures, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported. 

If there are no objections from member states, the ninth package of EU sanctions against Russia will come into force on Saturday at the latest, according to the IAR news agency. 

European Council President Charles Michel hailed the outcome of the Brussels summit, saying in a tweet: “We are very committed to supporting Ukraine as much as we can.”

He announced: „The European Council confirmed the EUR 18 billion macro-financial assistance to Ukraine. We welcomed the decision to increase the European Peace Facility. We succeeded in reaching agreement on the 9th package of sanctions.”

Price cap on gas

Meanwhile, EU leaders continued negotiations on capping the price of gas. Morawiecki told reporters afterwards: “Winter affects everyone. We had a long discussion about the gas price cap. There is a chance for a compromise. Less money will go to Russia’s budget and more money will stay in the budgets of European citizens.”

(pm/gs)

Source: IAR, PAPconsilium.europa.eu

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