EU to limit exports to countries that help Russia circumvent sanctions – FT
Photo: European Commission

The European Union is discussing the possibility of limiting exports to countries it suspects are helping Russia circumvent sanctions, the Financial Times reported on Friday, citing its own sources.

Discussions began after long attempts to reach a diplomatic agreement with them, the newspaper writes.

It is planned that the EU will create a legal framework that will allow the identification of goods and countries of concern without specifying names. First, warnings will be sent to potential violators, after which export restrictions may be imposed.

This idea was first proposed during negotiations between the European Commission and top EU diplomats last week as part of the preparation of the 11th package of sanctions.

Not all countries supported it as it is unclear at this stage what the geopolitical consequences of such restrictions will be. In addition, it is not known whether such restrictions will not contradict the rules of world trade.

"The overall mechanism seems to be broadly supported by capitals. But there is some hesitation from some quarters regarding what the implications on relations with partners would be," explained one of the newspaper's interlocutors.

Another diplomat suggested the mechanism would spark a heated debate. "How do you avoid the unintended side-effects of pushing certain countries in a different direction to where you want them to go? You have to be very careful on how you use carrots and sticks," he told FT.

But in general, such a mechanism reflects the position of Western countries that the correct approach is not to introduce new sanctions, but to ensure that the already introduced ones are followed, the newspaper write.

In early 2023, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development reported that Russia's neighbors, including Georgia, had significantly increased imports of goods for further re-export to the aggressor state.