Borrell: Sanctions against Russia are working

Borrell: Sanctions against Russia are working

Josep Borrell, High Representative of The European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, explained how Western sanctions affect Russia's economic, industrial, and technological potential.

“Within a year, they [sanctions] have already limited Moscow’s options considerably causing financial strain, cutting the country from key markets and significantly degrading Russia’s industrial and technological capacity,” Borrell wrote in his blog.

Since the start of the invasion of Ukraine, the EU has imposed 11 rounds of ever-tighter sanctions against Russia. The EU has also imposed travel bans and asset freezes on more than 1,500 individuals and almost 250 entities, he noted.

“To stop the war, we need to stay the course,” the EU High Representative of the European Union stressed.

He wrote that the Russian economy had contracted in 2022 by 2.1%. In particular, the production of motor vehicles was down 48% year-on-year, other transport equipment by 13% and computer, electronic and optical production by 8% while retail trade was 10% lower and wholesale trade 17%.

Compared to 2021, 58% of total EU imports from Russia were already cut off in 2022. Non-energy imports from Russia have fallen close to 60%, with the most visible drops for iron and steel, precious metals and wood. This movement is accelerating: the decline in imports of non-energy goods is above 75% for the first quarter of 2023, and the fall is even greater for energy goods, at minus 80%.

Overall EU exports of goods were 52% below the annual average before the war in 2022. At the same time, EU exports on dual-use items and advanced technologies, which are essential to produce the equipment and weapons used by Russia to wage its war, dropped by 78% in 2022 compared to 2019-2021, Borrell underscored.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that total Russian oil revenues are down 27% from a year before.

As reported, the EU made public the content of the latest 11th round of sanctions against Russia on June 23, 2023.

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