On November 9, the European Parliament adopted a resolution “On the effectiveness of sanctions against Russia”, in which it advocated further tightening of sanctions introduced in connection with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and at the same time called on the European Commission to review its interpretation of the sanctions regime in relation to private cars imported into the EU and other things of Russian citizens.
The resolution emphasizes that the effectiveness of sanctions depends on strict compliance with the sanctions regime by the countries that introduced it, and their cooperation among themselves. Attempts to circumvent sanctions are proposed to be equated with complicity in war crimes. It is proposed to create a centralized body that would monitor attempts to circumvent sanctions at the EU level. The European Parliament called on all candidate countries to join the EU to join the sanctions regime – for example, Serbia and Turkey, as well as Georgia, which is not yet an official candidate, did not do this. The document also contains a call to completely close the EU market from supplies of fossil fuels of Russian origin and to lower the so-called oil price ceiling introduced by the G7 countries and the EU. The document also contains a call to find legal mechanisms for the confiscation of frozen Russian assets for their use in order to restore Ukraine.
Deputies also called to introduce restrictions on the import of Russian and Belarusian fertilizers, expand restrictions on the import of aluminum, introduce sanctions against all major Russian oil companies, the project “Arctic LNG 2” and “Gazprombank”.
Along with these proposals aimed at tightening the sanctions regime, the resolution contains paragraph 13, which calls on the European Commission to “reconsider the interpretation of sanctions leading to the arrest and confiscation of objects and means of transport intended exclusively for personal use.” According to the European Parliament, such an interpretation “discredits the purpose and instrument of sanctions.”
Resolutions of the European Parliament are not binding.
- On September 8, the European Commission published an explanation of the sanctions regime, which states that the entry into the EU of cars with Russian license plates can be equated to imports prohibited by the sanctions regime. After that, a number of EU countries banned the entry of Russian cars – but not all, since the interpretation of this provision remains within the competence of specific states.
- If you follow the letter of the sanctions restrictions, many personal goods imported by Russian citizens, including mobile phones and cosmetics, should not be allowed in the EU. After the publication, the representative of the European Commission explained the agency’s impossibility of importing certain goods from Russia into the EU, saying that the customs authorities of the EU countries should be guided by “common sense”. A number of politicians in the European Union, as well as representatives of Russian political emigration, called for a review of the document by the European Commission, pointing out that it is questionable both from a legal and a political point of view.