Following up on the informal meeting of the EU heads of state and government on 10-11 March, the Council today decided to impose a fourth package of economic and individual sanctions in respect of Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine.

The Council decided in particular to:

 prohibit all transactions with certain state-owned enterprises,
 prohibit the provision of any credit rating services, as well as access to any subscription services in relation to credit rating activities, to any Russian person or entity,
 expand the list of persons connected to Russia’s defence and industrial base, on whom tighter export restrictions are imposed regarding dual-use goods and goods and technology which might contribute to Russia’s technological enhancement of its defence and security sector,
 prohibit new investments in the Russian energy sector, as well as a to introduce a comprehensive export restriction on equipment, technology and services for the energy industry,
 introduce further trade restrictions concerning iron and steel, as well as luxury goods.

Furthermore, the Council decided to sanction key oligarchs, lobbyist and propagandists pushing the Kremlin’s narrative on the situation in Ukraine as well as key companies in the aviation, military and dual use, shipbuilding and machine building sectors.

Statement in the WTO context

Separately, the Council gave a green light to the Commission to join, on behalf of the EU, a plurilateral statement on aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine with the support of Belarus, that is expected to be issued in the context of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Like other WTO Members that are to co-sponsor that statement, the EU confirms its readiness to take any actions that are considered necessary to protect our essential security interests. These may include actions in support of Ukraine, or actions to suspend concessions or other obligations with respect to the Russian Federation, such as the suspension of most-favoured-nation treatment to products and services of the Russian Federation. Furthermore, in light of Belarus’ material support to the actions of the Russian Federation, the EU considers that its WTO accession process is to be suspended.

Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine grossly violates international law and the principles of the UN Charter and undermines European and global security and stability. It is inflicting unspeakable suffering on the Ukrainian population. Russia, and its accomplice Belarus, bear full responsibility for this war of aggression and those responsible will be held to account for their crimes, including for indiscriminately targeting civilians and civilian objects.

The European Union demands that Russia ceases its military action and withdraws all forces and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine immediately and unconditionally, and fully respects Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence within its internationally recognised borders.