This week the EU wants to impose new sanctions on Russia. However, numerous harsh punitive measures have been in place since 2014 – for poison attacks, cyber attacks and the Ukraine crisis. An overview.
The EU foreign ministers want to initiate further sanctions against Russia in the case of the Kremlin critic Alexej Navalny on Monday. His prison camp conviction was confirmed on Saturday by an appeals court in Moscow. The EU has been putting extensive punitive measures against Moscow in force since 2014 – first because of the Ukraine crisis, then because of poison attacks and cyber attacks. Contrary to what had been hoped, President Waldimir Putin has not been impressed so far. An overview of sanctions already in force:
Ukraine crisis: 48 companies blocked
Because of the annexation of the Crimean peninsula and the support of pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, the EU has banned 177 Russians and Ukrainians from entering the country and blocked their accounts. Several advisors and confidants of Putin are among those affected. In addition, accounts of 48 companies and organizations were blocked. There are also sanctions against the Crimean economy.
After the MH17 passenger plane was shot down over Ukraine, from the end of July 2014 the EU also decided on extensive economic sanctions against Russia itself: They are directed against state banks, the import and export of armaments and the Russian oil and gas industry. An arms embargo is also part of it. Putin, for his part, reacted by banning the import of food from the EU, but made no concessions in the Ukraine crisis.
Poison attacks: Accounts blocked by the military
The poison attack on the Russian ex-double agent Sergej Skripal caused outrage around the world in March 2018. He and his daughter were exposed to Novichok neurotoxin in the UK. Ten months later, the EU decided to sanction four employees of the GRU military intelligence service. They were banned from entering the country and blocked accounts.
After the Kremlin critic Navalny was poisoned with a poison from the Novitschok group last summer, the EU put six Russians on its sanctions list. Among them are Putin confidants such as the deputy head of the presidential administration, Sergei Kiriyenko, and the head of the FSB’s domestic intelligence service, Alexander Bortnikov. A state research institute was also subject to sanctions.
Cyber attacks: Entry bans for secret service officers
In July last year, the EU first imposed sanctions against Russia for cyberattacks. It was about an attempted attack on the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OVCW) in The Hague in 2018. Four employees of the GRU military intelligence service are also affected. In addition, there is the GRU’s main center for special technologies, which is said to be responsible for further cyberattacks against the Ukrainian power grid, for example.
Sanctions followed in October for the hacker attack on the Bundestag in 2015. The head of the GRU military intelligence service, Igor Kostyukov, and another secret service officer were banned from entering the country and blocked accounts. In addition, another unit of the GRU military intelligence service responsible for cyber attacks was added to the EU sanctions list. Moscow then banned German intelligence officials from entering the country.