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The European Union has decided to stop the export of its luxury goods to Russia in order to deal “a blow to the Russian elite” as a part of fresh sanction decided with G7 countries, says European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

In a statement, she said, “Those who sustain Putin’s war machine should no longer be able to enjoy their lavish lifestyle while bombs fall on innocent people in Ukraine.”

The measure is part of the fourth package of sanctions that is aiming to cripple Russia’s ability to fund its military assault against Ukraine. It will be introduced on Saturday.

In coordination with G7 countries, including the UK, the US, Canada and Japan, the package also includes restricting Russia’s most-favoured-nation status in their respective markets.

“This will revoke major benefits that Russia enjoys as a World Trade Organisation (WTO) member. Russian companies will no longer receive special treatment in our economies,” she added.

The allies will also work to stop Russia’s membership in multilateral financial institutions, including the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, so that it “cannot obtain financing, loans, or any other benefits from these institutions” and target some of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “cronies” by, among other things, ensuring that they cannot use crypto assets to circumvent sanctions.

G7 finance, justice & home affairs ministers have planned to meet next week to coordinate a task force set up to target Russia’s elite.

The import of key goods in the iron and steel sector from Russia will also be banned, which the allies said “will hit a central sector of Russia’s system, deprive billions of export revenues and ensure that our citizens are not subsidising Putin’s war.”

“Finally, we will propose a big ban on new European investments across Russia’s energy sector,” the Commission chief said, adding that it will cover all investments, technology transfers and financial services for energy exploration and production “and thus have a big impact on Putin”.

 

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EU decides to stop export of luxury goods to Russia