EU leaders have backed a fifth round of sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
The package of measures includes a ban on imports of Russian coal, and other solid fossil fuels.
The EU says that imports of coal into the EU are currently worth €8 billion a year.
There will also be a full transaction ban and asset freeze on four Russian banks, representing almost a quarter of the country’s banking sector. The EU says that these banks are now totally cut off from the markets.
Entry ban at ports
Other financial sanctions include blocking the provision of “high-value crypto-asset services” to Russia, and a prohibition on providing advice on trusts to wealthy Russians, to make it more difficult for them to store their wealth in the EU.
The package also includes an entry ban on Russian-flagged vessels to EU ports. Exemptions apply for medical, food, energy, and humanitarian purposes.
The EU has also announced that Russian nationals and entities will not be allowed to participate in procurement contracts in the EU, though it adds that “limited exceptions” may be granted where there is no viable alternative.
“The aim of our sanctions is to stop the reckless, inhuman and aggressive behaviour of the Russian troops, and make clear to the decision-makers in the Kremlin that their illegal aggression comes at a heavy cost,” said the EU’s foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell (pictured).
Meanwhile, the Central Bank has provided updated information on financial sanctions – including how to report information on frozen assets to the regulator.
The Law Society last month launched a new resource hub to help solicitors ensure compliance with the sanctions.