New sanctions: EU cracks down on Russian

New sanctions: EU cracks down on Russian "dark fleet", bans private flights from Russia

The EU Council of Ministers adopted the 14th package of sanctions against Russia, which provides for measures against Russia’s "shadow" fleet of tankers and introduces tougher restrictions on Russian flights in the EU airspace.

That’s according to the European Council press service, Ukrinform reports.

"For the first time, the EU has adopted a measure targeting specific vessels contributing to Russia’s warfare against Ukraine, which are subject to a port access ban and ban on provision of services. These vessels can be designated for various reasons such as the transport of military equipment for Russia, the transport of stolen Ukrainian grain, and support in the development of Russia’s energy sector, for instance through the transport of LNG components or transshipments of LNG," the statement reads.

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These measures will also apply to the tankers of Putin's "dark fleet", involved in circumventing the Russian oil price cap, introduced by the EU countries and nations belonging to the "price cap coalitions". On this basis, 27 vessels involved in operations with Russian oil have been targeted.

In order to prevent other forms of sanctions evasion, the EU has strengthened measures prohibiting Russian aircraft from entering European airspace.

"The prohibition to land in, take off from or overfly the territory of the EU will also apply to any aircraft used for a non-scheduled flight, and where a Russian natural or legal person, entity or body, is in a position to effectively determine the place or time for its take-off or landing to reach, for instance, a holiday destination or a business meeting," the statement reads.

All air traffic operators are instructed to provide full information on such "noon-scheduled flights" to the competent authorities in member countries, including information ownership of such aircraft and passenger lists.

In addition, the EU expanded the list of prohibitions on goods transportation from Russia to the EU territory, including transit. The ban will now apply to transport operators that are 25 percent or more Russian-owned.

As reported earlier, since the outset of Russian aggression against Ukraine, the EU has been providing Ukraine with significant economic, political and financial assistance, pursuing a consistent policy of applying economic and individual sanctions against the aggressor state, and also taking measures to avoid their circumvention by third party governments and entities.

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