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European Parliament Calls for Better Russia Sanctions Enforcement, Lower Price Cap

Members of the European Parliament are pushing member states to more strictly enforce sanctions against Russia, saying “loopholes” are still allowing Russia to reap revenue from its oil sales and import export-controlled electronics. In a resolution adopted by the parliament last week, the body called for a lower price cap on Russian oil and petroleum products and a new mechanism to oversee member states’ sanctions enforcement.

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Although the EU enforces the Group of 7 price cap, members of the parliament said EU imports of petroleum products made with Russian oil from countries such as India have “soared, essentially creating a backdoor route for the Kremlin’s oil into the EU.” They also noted the block remains one of Russia’s largest fossil fuel clients because of continued imports of pipeline gas and “various exceptions” to the ban on Russian oil products. “The EU market must be closed for Russian fossil fuels,” the parliament said in a news release.

The EU should start by “substantially” lowering the price cap on Russian oil and petroleum products as well as imposing a “full ban” on certain energy imports from non-EU countries if those products were made using Russian oil, the resolution says. The resolution also calls on the EU to block shipments of Russian oil and liquefied natural gas exports through EU territory and to create price and volume caps on EU imports of Russian and Belarusian fertilizers.

The parliament members said the EU needs to develop a new tool to improve sanction evasion and monitoring, adding that the bloc should “properly close the EU market for Russian-origin fossil fuels” and fully sanction all the major Russian oil companies, Russian bank Gazprombank and “their subsidiaries and their boards and management.”

Members also said “critical” Western components are still being diverted to Russia through China, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Serbia. They added that the EU should expand sanctions to include a “full ban on the marketing and cutting of diamonds of Russian origin or re-exported by Russia to the EU.”