13th EU sanctions package against Russia poised to include aluminum to increase pressure
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The European Union is going to introduce an embargo against Russian aluminum within the 13th package of sanctions. They want to agree on it before the second anniversary of the full-scale Russian invasion – February 24, writes Politico.

Since the process of smelting aluminum requires a huge amount of electricity, sanctions against aluminum will simultaneously become sanctions against the energy sector.

According to one of the diplomats with whom the publication spoke, the European Union plans to consider an embargo on a number of goods, but negotiations on this matter are at an early stage.

The biggest problem is that the European Union no longer sees great goals for the introduction of sanctions. Nuclear power or liquefied natural gas (LNG) remain off limits due to the position of various EU countries. Rosatom is building two new reactors for Hungary, which is why it does not allow sanctions to be imposed on the Russian nuclear sector, and Russian LNG is imported by many countries, primarily Spain.

Because of this, the European Union focused its attention not on Russian exports, but on Russian imports.

EU countries want to create additional obstacles for Russia to acquire components that it cannot produce itself and that it needs for high-tech weapons, such as guided missiles.

But even here the results are ambiguous. According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, Gabrielius Landsbergis, the fight against the circumvention of sanctions remains a major pain point for the EU.

"The difficult part of this is that some of these components are not sanctioned, because they might be in something that, from the first glance, appears quite innocent, we call it the ‘refrigerator components,’ and Russians disassemble it and then use it." he explained.

The preliminary 12th package of EU sanctions against Russia was adopted on December 18, and without the vote of Austria, which objected to Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) being on the list of international sponsors of the war. The discussions lasted three months.

Last week, media reported that the European Union started preparing the 13th package of sanctions against Russia.