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EU considering harsher sanctions against Russia

The European Union is considering a new set of sanctions against Russia over its aggression in Ukraine. The sanctions would include a ban on imports of diamonds as well as liquid petroleum gas from Russia, a tighter enforcement of a price cap on Russian oil, and a ban on the transit of goods and technologies that could boost Russia’s industrial capabilities.

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) want the European Commission and EU member states to expand sanctions to include a full ban on the marketing and cutting of diamonds of Russian origin or re-exported by Russia to the EU. The EU should also, they say, explore legal avenues allowing for the confiscation of frozen Russian assets and for their use for the reconstruction of Ukraine.

The proposal will be discussed by the 27 EU member states, but a final agreement is expected to take weeks as it requires unanimous support.

The proposed sanctions would ban direct diamond imports from Russia from 1st January 2024 and introduce a traceability mechanism from March 2024 to prevent imports of Russian gems processed in third countries. The mechanism would be coordinated with the G7 countries, which include the United States, Canada, Britain and Japan.

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