Today, Commissioner Mairead McGuinness, in charge of sanctions, chaired the second meeting of the High-Level Expert Group on Union Restrictive Measures. The date marked one year since Russia’s brutal and illegal invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent adoption of the first wave of far-reaching sanctions on Russia.
The meeting brought together high-level representatives from all 27 Member States working on sanctions implementation with stakeholders including businesses that apply and are affected by these sanctions. They represented sectors ranging from banking, insurance and legal services to manufacturing, trade, transportation and logistics. This enabled the Commission, Member States and businesses to speak to each other about cross-border sanctions implementation challenges. The European Commission is committed to helping Member States and business to effectively implement sanctions.
The meeting reviewed one year of implementation of the Russia sanctions, reflecting on challenges and how to ensure restrictive measures are enforced consistently across the European Union. In addition, Member States and industry stakeholders were able to engage with the newly appointed Special Envoy for the Implementation of EU Sanctions, David O’Sullivan, and offer input for his work.
Following the meeting, Commissioner McGuinness said:
It has been one year since Russia’s brutal and illegal invasion of Ukraine, and the subsequent adoption of the first wave of the European Union’s far-reaching sanctions on Russia. Today we recognise the strength and resolve of Ukraine in standing up to Russia’s military aggression.
The European Union stands in solidarity with Ukraine. This solidarity includes our sanctions that are ramping up the consequences on Russia for its invasion. Our sanctions are working – but they are only as strong as their implementation. We cannot allow loopholes that prevent our measures from reaching their full effect, we cannot allow the targets of sanctions to avoid their impact, and we cannot allow profit-mongers to exploit a time of war for their own selfish benefit.
This morning’s meeting brought together senior representatives of industry that apply sanctions with representatives of all 27 Member State authorities that enforce sanctions to discuss how we can implement our sanctions more effectively and uniformly.
Our sanctions are at their most effective when we coordinate with our international partners. This afternoon I opened the Sanctions Coordinators Forum where the EU was joined by the US, the UK, Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, and Switzerland. Significantly, Ukraine was represented at the meeting by First Deputy Prime Minister Yuliia Svyrydenko and via videoconference by Andriy Yermak, President Zelenskyy’s Head of Cabinet – it is important to have Ukraine participate in these forums. As international partners we work together on designing and implementing sanctions that will hurt the Russian war machine.
News article on the second meeting of the High-Level Group on Union Restrictive Measures and on the the first Sanctions Coordinators Forum
Sanctions adopted following Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine
- Publication date
- 23 February 2023
- Directorate-General for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union