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Monday, June 24, 2024

EU Plans New Russia Sanctions, Targets Dmitry Medvedev’s Son

The European Commission is suggesting a 12th set of sanctions against Moscow, encompassing restrictions on numerous individuals, including Dmitry Medvedev’s son and a relative of Vladimir Putin. The proposed additions to existing sanctions include Putin’s cousin Anna Tsivileva, head of the “Defenders of the Fatherland” foundation supporting Russian soldiers in Ukraine, and Ilya Medvedev, who shares the name and birthdate of the former president’s only son. Ilya Medvedev is targeted for allegedly orchestrating a disinformation and propaganda campaign in Ukraine.

The inclusion of relatives of high-ranking officials, including the Putin family, is expected to elicit backlash from the Kremlin. The core of the proposals, subject to approval by EU leaders in December, focuses on measures to strangle Russia’s commercial revenues. This includes a comprehensive ban on selling Russian rough diamonds and jewelry with gems from Siberian mines within the EU, potentially depriving the Kremlin of over €4.5 billion annually.

The ban, initially in progress since the previous year, materialized after Belgium, home to the global diamond hub Antwerp, withdrew objections, and the G7 sanctioned the move during a summit in Japan. The proposal by the commission, revealed by The Guardian, states that the ban is part of a G7 initiative to coordinate an international diamond ban aiming to cut off a crucial revenue source for Russia.

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Representatives from G7 countries are assessing the feasibility of the proposed ban during a visit to Antwerp. Belgium’s proposal involves assigning a unique identifier through a blockchain record to diamonds above a certain size, covering approximately 80-90% of global diamonds. This measure would immediately enable wholesalers and retailers to distinguish legal from illegal diamonds.

In addition to the diamond ban, the European Commission is advocating for new restrictions on selling secondhand tankers to counter those evading existing trade sanctions by obscuring cargo origin or destination, including through illicit ship-to-ship transfers of price-capped oil.

The proposed sanctions extend to various sectors in Russia, including the arms industry, IT companies linked to the FSB security services, elections officials in occupied Ukraine, private military companies resembling the Wagner organization, and patriotic organizations accused of militarizing Ukrainian children. Specific companies targeted include AlfaStrakhovanie, Russia’s largest private insurance company, accused of providing insurance to the Russian defense ministry and military industry firms. The Ilyushin Aviation Complex, a leading aircraft manufacturer and the operator of Russia’s Glonass navigation system, are also included in the proposed sanctions. Additionally, Belarusian officials are targeted for alleged roles in supplying arms to Russia and military cooperation, including training Russian army conscripts at bases in Belarus.

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