PRAGUE: The European Union will target Russian gold exports in its next sanctions package and seek to “close exit routes” for those who circumvent its previous packages, an EU commissioner said on Friday.
The EU has so far approved six sets of sanctions against Russia. The latest passed in June imposed a ban on most Russian oil imports.
The EU will consider “ways to impose a sanctions regime on gold, which is an important commodity for Russia’s exports”, Maros Sefcovicdeputy head of the European Commission, said in Prague.
“As soon as we reach an agreement at member state level, we will publish it,” he said ahead of an informal meeting of EU affairs ministers hosted by the 27-nation bloc’s Czech presidency.
The move follows a ban on gold exports from Russia agreed by the world’s most industrialized nations at a G7 meeting in late June.
Olga, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Stefanishynawho is attending the Prague meeting, urged the EU to adopt a new sanctions package on Thursday.
“So far, nothing makes Russia responsible for (its) crimes,” she told reporters.
“We hope that the next, seventh sanctions package will have strong restrictive potential and will be taken without further delay and as soon as possible,” Stefanishyna said.
Sefcovic added that the EU would also seek to “close all exit routes for those wishing to circumvent the sanctions”.
“It is of course a very complex mechanism, so we have to not only put in place, but also check, monitor and close places that would create platforms for an exit in a certain way,” he said.
He also dismissed any thoughts of fatigue among EU members helping Ukraine, which Russia invaded on February 24.
“I have never seen such strong unity and effort from all member states to seek out all possible reserves, be it financial aid or arms supplies,” Sefcovic said. .
“Even if it is really difficult, we will continue because it is the Ukrainians who are fighting for their freedom who are in the most difficult situation,” he added.

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