May 23, 2022

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Steel, luxury goods, jet fuel and more

Steel, luxury goods, jet fuel and more

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen delivers a speech during the plenary session of the European Parliament at the European Union headquarters in Brussels, on March 23, 2022.

John Theiss | AFP | Getty Images

Luxembourg The European Union is working on a New package of sanctions against Russia Two sources familiar with the discussions told CNBC that it is likely to restrict aircraft leasing and the import and export of products such as jet fuel, steel products and luxury goods.

However, the bloc remains divided over whether to extend those sanctions to energy imports – Despite mounting evidence of war crimes committed by Russian forces in Ukraine.

Ukraine’s Prosecutor General said 410 bodies have been found in towns recaptured from retreating Russian forces around Kyiv as part of an investigation into possible war crimes. Over the weekend, several international media organizations reported mass killings of civilians in Bucha, a Ukrainian city near the country’s capital, Kyiv, which was under Russian occupation until recently.

The reports have led to a range of calls from within the European Union for the bloc to move forward in punishing Moscow for what it has done without provocation. Invasion of Ukraine. The bloc is now working on a fifth package of sanctions against Russia with the new round of measures expected to be approved later this week.

Two EU officials, who declined to be identified due to the sensitive nature of the talks, told CNBC that the proposal for the next sanctions package includes aircraft leasing, steel products, luxury goods and jet fuel. The two sources added that the package is still being implemented and could change as talks continue in the coming days and ahead of an important meeting of EU ambassadors on Wednesday.

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One official added that “it is clear that there is a significant component missing,” referring to the lack of action over the Russian energy sector.

Imposing an immediate ban on gas, oil, or even Russian coal has been the subject of much debate within the European Union since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24. While some countries support the Russian energy ban, others in the European Union argue that they are too dependent on Russian energy and will hurt their economies more than Russia.

the president of France, Emmanuel MacronOn Monday, he said the European Union should agree to limit the use of Russian oil and coal in the wake of the atrocities reported in Bosha. Poland, for example, announced last month that it would stop importing Russian coal.

However, there is a very vocal group of EU countries that remain opposed to agreeing to any energy sanctions.

“We want to be, [in the] “In a short time, less dependent on Russian energy imports into the EU, Germany will support more sanctions against Russia,” German Finance Minister Christian Lindner told CNBC in Luxembourg on Monday.

“We have to put more pressure on Putin and we have to isolate Russia – we have to cut all economic ties with Russia, but at the moment the gas supplies cannot be cut off,” he added.

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Asked whether the EU should now, as Macron suggested, go ahead with sanctions on oil and gas, Lindner said, “There is no speculation from me.”

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His Austrian counterpart also opposed the imposition of a ban on Russian gas.

“Austria does not support more sanctions in relation to gas. We are very dependent on Russian gas and I think that all the sanctions that hit us more than the Russians will not be beneficial to us. That is why we are against sanctions in the field of oil and gas,” said Austrian Federal Finance Minister Magnus Brunner for CNBC.

The European Statistics Office estimates that Austria imported nearly 59% of its natural gas from Russia during 2020. Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Latvia and Hungary imported a higher share of natural gas from Russia in the same year, according to Eurostat.