Agreement on EU sanctions against Russia expected before summit – EU official

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BRUSSELS, Sept 29 (Reuters) – An agreement on the next sanctions package against Russia is expected before next week’s EU summit, or at least major parts of the package, an EU official told Reuters.

The official said they expected the summit to focus on the referendums in Ukraine, possible annexations of areas by Russia, Russia’s nuclear threats and the disruption to the Nord Stream pipelines.

EU leaders are also expected to discuss different ideas for energy price caps at the summit, which the EU official expects to be a tense one “as we are in difficult times”.

The draft text, which the Commission presented to EU ambassadors Wednesday but still needs the sign-off of the 27 EU countries, mainly seeks to use a slate of new export and import bans to tighten the bloc’s existing sanctions regime. And the targets range from everyday items to tech components that power Russia’s military.

For example, the new draft rules would eliminate the import of goods considered to generate significant income in Russia, such as “beauty or make-up preparations,” “shaving preparations, incl. pre-shave and aftershave products, personal deodorants,” as well as soap and toilet paper.

On the export side, semiconductors components, or chips, won’t be allowed to be sent to Russia anymore. Aircraft exports to Russia would also be barred if the new sanctions package is adopted.

In the service industry, the sanctions proposal foresees making it illegal “to provide architectural and engineering services, legal advisory services and IT consultancy services” to companies and people in Russia or the Russian government.

Additionally, the bloc is set to sanction almost 30 individuals and eight companies, including right-wing philosopher and strategist Alexander Dugin and singer Nikolay Rastorguyev, as well as the largest shareholder of arms producer Kalashnikov, Alan Lushnikov.

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