Poland has taken the lead in proposing a comprehensive 12th package of sanctions to be enforced by the European Union against Russia, and has urged further sanctions against Belarus, according to a senior EU source.
The proposal, as outlined by the source, encompasses a broad spectrum of measures, including both sectoral and individual restrictions. Notably, the plan includes the imposition of additional import restrictions, with a significant move being the prohibition of diamond imports from Russia. Additionally, the proposal seeks to impose fresh limitations within the service sector, with an emphasis on a ban on information and communication technology services offered to Russian companies.
Poland’s proposal goes further by advocating for increased restrictions within the energy sector, with a specific call for the prohibition of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) imports from Russia.
The ban on diamond imports from Russia has been a focal point of Poland’s stance since February 2022. Data reveals that in 2021, Russia exported diamonds worth USD 4.51 billion, accounting for nearly one percent of its total overseas sales.
Furthermore, Poland’s proposal introduces a call for new individual sanctions. These sanctions are intended to target key Russian armament companies, media entities disseminating Kremlin-backed disinformation regarding the Ukraine conflict, and oligarchs who have played a role in the ongoing war.
Simultaneously, Poland has raised its voice for additional EU sanctions targeting Belarus. The rationale behind this move, as explained by the source, is to fortify the existing sanctions against Russia by closing potential loopholes via Belarus.
Poland contends that the so-called ‘mini sanctions’ imposed on Belarus by the EU in July 2023 fall short in providing comprehensive protection against attempts by Russia to bypass the sanctions. In response to this perceived vulnerability, Poland is calling for a fresh wave of sanctions against Belarus to ensure the elimination of any existing gaps that could enable Belarus to assist Moscow in evading the imposed restrictions.
This proposal marks Poland’s resolute stance in advocating for stronger measures against both Russia and Belarus, as the EU grapples with its response to ongoing geopolitical challenges in the region.