Govt approves Estonia's proposals for 12th sanctions package against Russia

  • 2023-09-28
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - The government on Thursday approved Estonia's proposals for the European Union's 12th sanctions package against Russia, including a proposal for a full trade embargo.

Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna said that in a situation where Russia is continuing its illegal war of aggression against Ukraine and the entire world order based on international law, it is necessary to continue strengthening sanctions against Russia, enhancing their implementation and making it more difficult to evade sanctions.

"Based on these three goals, the government approved Estonia's positions regarding the European Union's 12th sanctions package, for which we will immediately start seeking support among the European Union member states and like-minded partners," Tsahkna said.

Estonia believes that those measures that can be agreed on in the widest possible group are effective.

"Estonia wants the European Union's sanctions package to include a complete trade embargo against Russia," Tsahkna said.

He added that in a situation where the goal of Russia's aggression is to eliminate Europe's current security architecture and thus threaten the existential security interests of Estonia and the entire European Union, any kind of trade with Russia is not reasonable. A large part of every euro left in the Russian economy is used against us by the Putin regime, regardless of the industry or field of activity in which the money was earned.

"In the event that sufficient support for a full trade embargo is not found at the European Union level, we also approved alternative proposals for tightening sanctions," Tsahkna said.

The steps would include banning the transit of sanctioned goods, cutting Russian energy export earnings more forcefully than before and confirming that the European Union will keep the Russian assets frozen today frozen until war damages are compensated.

"Whether this method of compensation is potential legal solutions on our side or such a decision by Russia," Tsahkna said, adding that there are other detailed proposals in case the trade embargo is not approved.

As said before, they all aim to strengthen sanctions, make their enforcement more effective, and make sanctions more difficult to evade.