European Parliament demands tougher enforcement of EU sanctions against Russia

  • 2023-11-09
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Members of the European Parliament want more EU-level oversight and better efforts to limit Moscow’s ability to bypass the EU’s restrictive measures, Janis Krastins, the EU Parliament's spokesman in Latvia, told LETA. 

In a resolution adopted on Thursday, the European Parliament voices its alarm over existing loopholes in the EU’s sanctions regime against Russia. While highlighting the unprecedented nature of the EU’s restrictive measures, MEPs are concerned about the lack of proper enforcement and attempts to undermine the effort to strategically weaken the Russian economic and industrial base, and hindering the country’s ability to wage war.

The resolution notes that Russia has been able to circumvent measures, such as the price cap on oil sanctions introduced by EU member states and the so-called Price Cap Coalition, it also notes that EU imports of petroleum products made with Russian oil from countries such as India have soared, essentially creating a backdoor route for the Kremlin’s oil into the EU. 

MEPs also highlight how critical Western components still find their way to Russia via countries like China, Turkiye, the United Arab Emirates, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Serbia. They express deep concern regarding ongoing trade in sanctioned war-critical goods between EU member states and Moscow and over reports that countries like Azerbaijan are whitewashing Russian gas for export to the EU.

The resolution underlines that the European Union still remains one of Russia’s largest fossil fuel clients, due to continued imports of pipeline gas and LNG, as well as various exceptions to the ban on importing crude oil and oil products.

MEPs call on the EU and its member states to reinforce and centralize EU-level oversight of sanctions implementation and to develop a mechanism for circumvention prevention and monitoring. 

They also call on the EU to strengthen coordination on the enforcement of existing sanctions on Russian oil exports, to properly close the EU market for Russian-origin fossil fuels, and to impose sanctions on all the major Russian oil companies, Gazprombank, their subsidiaries and their boards and management.

The resolution says the EU should work together with the G7 to substantially lower the price cap on Russian oil and on petroleum products, to impose a full ban on Russian LNG and LPG imports as well as on the import of fuel and other petroleum products from non-EU countries if those products were produced using Russian oil. 

The European Parliament also wants the EU to prohibit the shipment of Russian oil and LNG exports through EU territory and to introduce price and volume caps on EU imports of Russian and Belarusian fertilizers.