- MEPs are worried about Russia’s ability to bypass international sanctions
- Parliament wants a full closure of the EU market to Russian fossil fuels and a full ban on Russian LNG and LPG imports
- The EU must comprehensively review how its Russia sanctions are working
- Frozen Russian assets should be used to fund reconstruction in Ukraine
MEPs want more EU-level oversight and better efforts to limit Moscow’s ability to bypass the EU’s restrictive measures.
In a resolution adopted on Thursday, Parliament voices its alarm over existing loopholes in the EU’s sanctions regime against Russia. While highlighting the unprecedented nature of the EU’s restrictive measures, MEPs are concerned about the lack of proper enforcement and attempts to undermine the effort to strategically weaken the Russian economic and industrial base, and hindering the country’s ability to wage war.
With the resolution pointing to Russia’s ability to circumvent measures, such as the price cap on oil sanctions introduced by EU member states and the so-called Price Cap Coalition, it also notes that EU imports of petroleum products made with Russian oil from countries such as India have soared, essentially creating a backdoor route for the Kremlin’s oil into the EU. MEPs also highlight how critical Western components still find their way to Russia via countries like China, Türkiye, the United Arab Emirates, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Serbia. They express deep concern regarding ongoing trade in sanctioned war-critical goods between EU member states and Moscow and over reports that countries like Azerbaijan are whitewashing Russian gas for export to the EU.
The text also underlines that the European Union still remains one of Russia’s largest fossil fuel clients, due to continued imports of pipeline gas and LNG, as well as various exceptions to the ban on importing crude oil and oil products.
The EU market must be closed for Russian fossil fuels
MEPs call on the EU and its member states to reinforce and centralise EU-level oversight of sanctions implementation and to develop a mechanism for circumvention prevention and monitoring. They also call on the EU to strengthen coordination on the enforcement of existing sanctions on Russian oil exports, to properly close the EU market for Russian-origin fossil fuels, and to impose sanctions on all the major Russian oil companies, Gazprombank, their subsidiaries and their boards and management.
The resolution says the EU should work together with the G7 to substantially lower the price cap on Russian oil and on petroleum products, to impose a full ban on Russian LNG and LPG imports as well as on the import of fuel and other petroleum products from non-EU countries if those products were produced using Russian oil. Parliament also wants the EU to prohibit the shipment of Russian oil and LNG exports through EU territory and to introduce price and volume caps on EU imports of Russian and Belarusian fertilisers.
In addition, MEPs want the European Commission and EU member states to expand sanctions to include a full ban on the marketing and cutting of diamonds of Russian origin or re-exported by Russia to the EU. The EU should also, they say, explore legal avenues allowing for the confiscation of frozen Russian assets and for their use for the reconstruction of Ukraine.
The resolution will be available in full here. It was adopted by show of hands.