Moscow / Strasbourg – Russian President Vladimir Putin announced fresh sanctions against Western countries. According to the announcement, the exports of products and raw materials will be stopped to the countries assisting Ukraine. Putin also warned against cancelling agreements with the West. Following Putin’s warning, the European Union also signalled fresh sanctions. It proposes to stop imports of crude oil from Russia.
After Russia’s conflict with Ukraine, the United States imposed heavy sanctions on Russia, including Europe and its allies. Although the sanctions have impacted the Russian economy, they have made little difference to Russia’s campaign in Ukraine. On the contrary, Russia has launched more aggressive attacks against Ukraine since launching the second phase of its military campaign last month. On the other hand, Russia has begun taking steps to respond to sanctions imposed by the West.
It includes blocking fuel supplies to countries such as Poland and Bulgaria, emphasising transactions in rouble currency, and changing rules regarding products exported from Russia. But Russian President Putin has adopted a more insistent stance and prepared for a tougher response to the Western countries. The law, signed by Putin on Tuesday, is part of that.
As per the act, restrictions will be imposed on raw materials and products exported on priority from Russia. At the same time, the agreements made by Russia will be cancelled. This will apply to Western countries cooperating with Ukraine and to the companies. Russian sources said the list would be released in the next few days. The new law also mentions that Russian citizens and companies should not deal with countries, companies, or individuals on whom sanctions have been imposed.
In the wake of Russia’s action, the European Union (EU) proposed a ban on crude oil imports from Russia. The President informed the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. According to the proposal, Russian oil imports will be phased out in the next six months. The banning of imports of petroleum products has been given until the end of the year.
Indications have been given that countries like Hungary and Slovakia will be excluded from this. It is said that this decision has been taken as these two countries vehemently opposed imposing sanctions against Russia. The EU currently imports more than 100 million barrels of crude oil annually from Russia. More than 25% of Europe’s demand for crude oil is imported from Russia. In 2021, the EU was forced to pay Russia more than 73 billion euros for crude oil imports.