The International Trade Council (ITC) acknowledges the European Union's (EU) 11th package of sanctions against Russia announced last week by European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen. The latest sanction package aims to prevent Russia from importing high-tech components for the ongoing conflict in Ukraine from neighbouring countries.
Central Asian nations, such as Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, are the initial focus of these sanctions. These countries have reportedly experienced both trade and economic growth since the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. China and Turkey, though suspected of aiding Russia, are not immediate targets due to the EU's reluctance to further strain relations with Beijing and the political risks associated with confronting Ankara.
In light of the US's encouragement for a firmer EU stance on China, the ITC anticipates further announcements from Brussels on coordination and information sharing efforts.
While the EU refrains from imposing sanctions on China as a whole, the European Commission has proposed sanctions on seven Chinese firms suspected of supplying equipment potentially used in Russian weaponry. Companies like King-Pai Technology, already under US sanctions, are included in this list.
The ITC also acknowledges the growing concern over a 'shadow fleet' assisting the flow of oil and other goods to Russia in violation of sanctions. The EU's technical negotiations are optimistic about closing this loophole.
In other developments, the US has recently accused South Africa of covertly supplying arms to Russia. The ITC understands that an independent inquiry will be established to investigate these allegations.
Lastly, in a crackdown against alleged sanctions breaches, Cyprus has received a comprehensive dossier from the US government detailing local individuals and entities allegedly enabling Russian billionaire, Alisher Usmanov, to conceal his wealth. The Cypriot government has responded by cancelling a number of 'golden passports' previously issued to sanctioned individuals.
The ITC continues to monitor these developments and encourages all nations to respect international law and to act in the spirit of maintaining global peace and stability.
For more information about the ITC and its work, please visit our website or contact our office.