Five states reportedly considering new round of sanctions against Russian companies
Kaspersky Lab, a Russian cybersecurity company known for its antivirus and other products, has been suggested as the target of a new round of anti-Russian sanctions to be considered by the EU. Poland, Ireland and the three Baltic countries have called on Brussels to ban members of the bloc from using its products, Bloomberg reported on Friday.
The move was suggested as a way for the EU to tighten existing restrictions on tech relations with Russia, Bloomberg said, citing a document he had seen and some people familiar with the matter. Other suggestions involved restricting tech exports to Russia and adding more products such as data processing machines and storage devices to the tech export blacklist.
Gazprombank – a Russian lender used by European companies to pay for gas deliveries – has been named by the five nations as another potential sanctions target. The bank has so far been spared most sanctions from the bloc due to its role in gas deals. Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Ireland and Poland are now offering to cut it off from the SWIFT international payment system alongside some other Russian banks.
The five nations also offered a wide range of suggestions on toughening anti-Russian sanctions, ranging from banning liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) products to restrictions on nuclear energy cooperation and diamond imports from Russia. The list of suggestions also includes a ban on real estate sales to non-EU resident Russian companies and individuals, as well as new media censorship.
The report came just days after EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrel announced plans for new sanctions against Moscow. He did not elaborate on specifics but said they would target the Russian economy and the tech sector in particular, while the EU would also blacklist a number of individuals.
On Wednesday, Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization, which would call 300,000 reservists to participate in the conflict with Ukraine. On Friday, the two Donbas republics and the Russian-controlled regions of Zaporozhye and Kherson launched referendums on joining Russia, to be held from September 23-27.