TRADE SANCTIONS: EU Imposes Sanctions on Russia over Ukraine
On 31 July, the EU Council adopted sanctions against Russia in response to the continued support and supply of weapons to pro-Russian rebels in east Ukraine, as well as the earlier annexation of the Crimea.
The decision to impose sanctions, which became effective 1 August, was underpinned by a widespread belief that the rebels shot down the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 using a Russian-supplied missile, killing 298 people, mostly EU citizens. This decision (i.e. Council Regulation 833/2014 of 31 July 2014) also gives legal value to the earlier agreement reached by the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) on 29 July.
Restrictions apply to four areas: the financial sector, energy industry, arms trade and “dual use” technologies export. First, EU nationals and companies may no longer buy or sell bonds, equity and other financial instruments with a maturity exceeding 90 days, issued by major Russian credit institutions or financial development institutions that have over 50% public ownership or control. Specifically, the “black-listed” banks are VTB Bank, Gazprombank, Vnesheconombank (VEB), Rosselkhozbank, and Sberbank (which also has a subsidiary in Croatia)…