EU to discuss new sanctions package against Russia and targets Chinese companies
The European Commission has proposed a new set of sanctions against Russia, a spokesperson confirmed on Monday. Ambassadors from the 27 member states will discuss the 11th package of sanctions on Wednesday. Companies from other countries, including China, will be targeted for circumventing European sanctions.
The Commission would not comment on the content of the sanctions. Spokesperson Eric Mamer could only confirm that the EU is focusing on the proper implementation of already adopted measures, their effectiveness and preventing their circumvention.
The Commission wants to prevent goods that are no longer allowed to be exported from finding their way to Russia via other countries. According to the Financial Times, the Commission wants to sanction seven Chinese companies suspected of exporting material to Russia that could be used for producing weapons. Iranian companies that sell drones to Russia might also be sanctioned.
"We urge the EU not to go down this wrong path. Otherwise, China will take firm measures to safeguard its legitimate and legal interests"
Some of those companies are already targeted by the US, like China's 3HC Semiconductors and King-Pai Technology, and Hong Kong's Sinno Electronics and Sigma Technology. 3HC manufactures semiconductors and allegedly uses US components for its chips before selling them to the Russian military or companies in the Russian defence industry.
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeperson said on Monday that "mutual trust and cooperation between the EU and China" risk being seriously undermined if the reports are true. "Global division and confrontation will only increase," Wang Wenbin said. "This is very dangerous. We urge the EU not to go down this wrong path. Otherwise, China will take firm measures to safeguard its legitimate and legal interests."
For the sanctions to take effect, they must be unanimously approved by the 27 member states.
Von der Leyen to visit Kyiv
Ursula von der Leyen's spokesperson also announced that the European Commission president would travel to Kyiv on Tuesday, where she will meet Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy. It will be von der Leyen's fifth visit to the city since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Tuesday 9 May is also known as Europe Day. French foreign minister Robert Schuman gave a historic speech on European cooperation on that day in 1950, five years after the end of World War II. In Russia, 9 May marks the victory over Nazi Germany in 1945, which is usually accompanied by a large military parade.
© BELGA PHOTO JAMES ARTHUR GEKIERE