EU to hit Russian steel and IT industry with sanctions, but spare diamonds – POLITICO

The European Union aims to ban imports of several steel products from Russia and ban the export of certain semiconductors to Russia, according to the latest sanctions proposal from the European Commission, seen by POLITICO.

One item omitted from the list, however, is Russian diamonds – an omission that will bring joy to Belgium and its robust diamond industry. Instead, the Commission wants to ban the import of “certain elements used in the jewelery industry such as stones and precious metals”. He also wants to sanction Alrosa, Russia’s largest diamond mining company.

The draft text, which the Commission presented to EU ambassadors on Wednesday but which still needs to be approved by the 27 EU countries, mainly aims to use a list of new export and import bans to strengthen the bloc’s existing sanctions regime. And the targets range from everyday objects to the technological components that power the Russian military.

For example, the new draft rules would eliminate the import of goods considered to generate significant revenue in Russia, such as “cosmetic or make-up products”, “shaving products, including pre-shave and aftershave, personal deodorants”, as well as soap and toilet paper.

On the export side, semiconductor components, or chips, will no longer be allowed to be sent to Russia. Aircraft exports to Russia would also be banned if the new sanctions package were passed.

In the services sector, the sanctions proposal plans to make it illegal “to provide architectural and engineering services, legal consultancy services and IT consultancy services” to businesses and individuals in Russia or the Russian government. .

Additionally, the bloc is set to sanction nearly 30 people and eight companies, including right-wing philosopher and strategist Alexander Dugin and singer Nikolay Rastorguyev, as well as Kalashnikov arms producer Alan Lushnikov’s main shareholder.

Sarah C. Figueiredo