EU is preparing mechanism to prevent Russia from breaching sanctions through Central Asia

Bloomberg says that the E.U. may want to crack down on trading channels the Kremlin relies on / Shutterstock

The European Union is discussing a new mechanism of sanctions against Central Asian states that Russia may use to surpass international sanctions, according to Bloomberg.

Some unidentified sources say that the E.U. wants to crack down on all those trading channels the Kremlin relies on. If this doesn’t work, Brussels will unleash its second option and target key products.

«This mechanism is also aimed at expanding the scope of some export control measures and banning many goods from transit through Russia,» the outlet’s sources reported.

This eleventh package of sanctions the E.U. is working on will be primarily aimed at closing loopholes in measures European countries have already taken. In fact, this is a reaction to the current situation when the Kremlin is still able to purchase goods on the sanction list via third-party countries.

On April 24, EU Sanctions Envoy David O’Sullivan said that the E.U. isn’t going to target Kazakhstan with any sanctions for the upcoming visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The E.U. envoy underlined that what Putin has done is a violation of the U.N. Charter and the war he has waged in Ukraine is a crime that causes suffering and death to civilians. However, every country has a right to apply its own approach to the matter.

The U.S. and the U.K. have already warned their Kazakhstani counterparts about the risk of secondary sanctions against companies and banks that help Russia in breaching the international sanctions. At the end of April, Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes at the U.S. Department of Treasury Elisabeth Rosenberg said that Russian secret services are eager to find suppliers of sanctioned goods in Kazakhstan.

In May, some Russian media outlets reported that carriers of parallel imports started to bypass Kazakhstan because «the country has created hurdles for such products and virtually closed state border for suppliers.»

In February 2022, Russia unleashed a full-scale war against Ukraine. At the time, Putin recognized the independence of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics and said that Russia would demilitarize and denazify Ukraine. By now, hundreds of thousands of people have died or been wounded. More than eight million people are refugees because of the war, according to the U.N.

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