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The European Union (EU) has put forward new trade restrictions targeting approximately two dozen companies, including one from India and three from China, accused of backing Russia’s war in Ukraine, as per a Bloomberg report.
The listed companies, mainly involved in technology and electronics, are accused of contributing to Russia’s military and technological capabilities. The document highlights their alleged role in advancing Russia’s defence and security sector.
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If approved, this move would mark the first instance of the EU imposing sanctions on mainland Chinese companies since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The proposed draft list, seen by Bloomberg, includes businesses in Hong Kong, Serbia, and Turkey, it added.
The proposed restrictions aim to prevent European firms from engaging in trade with the listed companies, aligning with the EU’s strategy to curb Russia’s access to sanctioned goods through third-country entities. Earlier attempts to list Chinese firms were dropped due to resistance from certain member states and assurances from Beijing.
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This issue holds significant importance for the EU, particularly in its relationship with China, a key trade partner. Germany, notably reliant on China as the largest market for carmakers such as Volkswagen AG, is closely watching developments, the report added.
Notably, EU sanctions require unanimous approval from all member states and may undergo changes before adoption.
The EU Commission spokesperson declined to comment on the proposal, while no immediate response was received from China’s embassy in Brussels, the report said.
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Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, during a visit to Beijing in April, cautioned Chinese President Xi Jinping against involvement in the Russia-Ukraine war. She emphasised the importance of not providing military equipment to Russia, stating that it would violate international law and strain the EU-China relationship.
The proposed list includes three Chinese firms, and one each from India, Sri Lanka, Serbia, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Turkey, and Hong Kong. The document clarifies that inclusion doesn’t attribute responsibility for actions to the respective jurisdictions. The EU has previously listed over 620 companies, primarily from Russia.
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These companies are accused of importing prohibited technologies and electronics and subsequently reexporting them to Russia.
In addition to trade restrictions, the EU has suggested sanctions on over 110 individuals and entities as part of a broader package marking two years since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
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Published: 13 Feb 2024, 06:27 AM IST