European Commission reveals latest Russian sanctions, still no crackdown on diamonds
On Wednesday, the European Commission unveiled the latest sanctions package against Russia. For the first time, trade sanctions against Iranian entities supplying drones to Russia were proposed. Many politicians are disappointed that the diamond trade with Russia is still not sanctioned.
Von der Leyen presented a tenth package of sanctions against Moscow ahead of the first anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The package includes trade bans and export controls worth a total of 11 billion euros. These include restrictions on exports of electronic components used in drones, helicopters and missiles.
As Russia is also deploying Iranian drones in Ukraine, the Commission proposes to add Iranian entities to the trade sanctions on so-called 'dual-use' goods. These include seven Iranian entities linked to the Revolutionary Guards, among others.
"Hundreds of Iranian-made drones are used by Russia on the battlefield in Ukraine. These drones are killing Ukrainian civilians," von der Leyen told the European Parliament in Strasbourg. "It is our duty to sanction [Russia] and tackle Iran over the supply of drones and the transfer of know-how to build production sites in Russia," she argued.
But many politicians are not satisfied with the reach of the new sanctions. MEP Kathleen Van Brempt argued for the inclusion of diamonds on Twitter. "Von der Leyen is right when she says that sanctions work," the Belgian politician wrote. "That's why we also need them for Russian diamonds." MEP Guy Verhofstadt, meanwhile, called the Commission a "submissive bureaucracy".
© Frederick FLORIN / AFP