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Statement29 April 2024Directorate-General for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union1 min read

Statement by Commissioner McGuinness on the outcomes of the fifth high-level meeting on sanctions implementation

Today, the European Commission hosted the fifth meeting of the High-Level Expert Group on Union Restrictive Measures. More than two years since Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, sanctions remain at the core of the EU’s response to this unprovoked military aggression. Following the adoption of thirteen far-reaching sanctions packages on Russia, the meeting focused on the persisting challenges associated with the enforcement and effectiveness of sanctions, in particular, circumvention of EU sanctions via third countries. The main goal of the meeting was to take stock of the progress made in combatting sanctions circumvention since the last high-level meeting in February. High-level representatives from Member States, alongside the European Commission and the External Action Service, came together to discuss the challenges, share data, and identify solutions. Member States representatives presented the outreach done and shared best practices on preventing circumvention of EU sanctions.

Following the meeting, Commissioner McGuinness said:

As we head towards the European elections, our support for Ukraine remains vital. We will continue to focus on strong implementation and enforcement. And that includes preventing evasion and circumvention.

Today’s discussions confirmed our collective determination and actions to stop Russia from acquiring sensitive battlefield goods and technologies for its military.

These high-level meetings are an important forum. We learn where we face common challenges and talk about what works – and what doesn’t.

In the Commission, we will continue dedicating significant efforts to this work - from legislative action to closely monitoring suspicious trade flows and organising dedicated outreach.

We will continue supporting our Member States, to ensure effective enforcement of the measures, and working closely with third countries to prevent circumvention.

The EU institutions and Member States will ensure that the monitoring, implementation, and effectiveness of sanctions are kept at the top of our agenda.

Sanctions adopted following Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine

Overview of sanctions and related resources