BRUSSELS – European Union ambassadors on Friday are set to discuss extending sanctions to Russian ally Belarus to crack down on the circumvention of sanctions on Russia by companies routing banned products through its neighbour.
EU diplomats told Reuters that the latest discussions were intended to ensure sanctions on Belarus are aligned with those on Russia.
Areas they are likely to look at are restrictions on imports from Belarus of oil, coal and gold as well as exports to Belarus of certain machinery and technology that could be used by the military, the diplomats said.
The EU has placed a broad range of sanctions on Russia since its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and prevented imports of a range of products including sea-borne oil, coal, steel, gold, wood and plastics.
Seafood, liquor, cigarettes and cosmetics are also on the list of products that cannot be imported into the EU from Russia.
It has also imposed restrictions on Belarus, which the bloc says has supported Moscow by allowing Russia to fire missiles from its territory and allowing Russian troops, tanks and aircraft to cross its land.
Those sanctions cover tobacco products, potash, mineral fuels and products made of wood, steel and rubber.
In the financial sector, the measures are similar. There is a prohibition on transactions with Belarus’s central bank and on provision of euro-denominated bank notes, limits on financial inflows from Belarus and a ban on providing messaging service SWIFT to five Belarusian banks.