“Unlawful sanctions under certain circumstances can be qualified as an act of international aggression on the part of individual states or their unions” (…) “This is a declaration of economic war… It can be concluded that sanctions in the current situation can be qualified as an act of aggression against the Russian Federation, as one of the forms of hybrid war” – Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev (08.04.2022).
The European Union (EU) launched today the 5th Sanctions package in concern to the Russian Federation and Belarus. They have both a combination of things… which isn’t only embargoing coal to the EU. The newest package is severe, but not as bad some Members of European Parliament (MEP) even want to have. Therefore, sanctions isn’t aimed or stinging enough for some. The sanctions aren’t costing enough.
Nevertheless, the sanctions and packages are getting extensive. It is four more Russian banks that gotten a full transaction ban and asset freeze. Also, Russian oligarchs cannot have trusts to keep their wealth hidden in the EU. In addition, Russian nationals and entities are prohibited from getting procurement contracts within the Union.
We know things gets tougher when the EU orders an trade embargo on certain imports from Russia and Belarus:
“Additional import bans – worth €5.5 billion – including cement, rubber products, wood, spirits (including vodka), liquor, high-end seafood (including caviar), and an anti-circumvention measure against potash imports from Belarus” (EU, 08.04.2022).
So, the Russians cannot sell vodka or caviar. This will hurt some industries within Russia and they are locked out of markets in EU. The Smirnoff Vodka and other brands will not been seen in the alcohol section from now on. The shelves will start to lack these things and certain goods will not even be able to find a substitute.
While the EU will not sell this to Russia: “Further targeted export bans – worth €10 billion – in areas in which Russia is vulnerable due to its high dependency on EU supplies. This includes, for example, quantum computing, advanced semiconductors, sensitive machinery, transportation and chemicals. It also includes specialist catalysts for use in the refinery industry” (EU, 08.04.2022). In addition to this, the EU will also not sell jet fuel and fuel additives, which could be used by the Russian army.
With that all being said… it is becoming restrictive and the measures are getting rougher. That is something it should be. However, they are not going all-in. The banks still have SWIFT and the Russian gas and oil is sold on the continent. The biggest reasons for trade is still there. The EU isn’t upping it’s game, but instead goes very calculative.
The Russian vodka can find other markets and be sold in other markets instead of the EU. The same can be said about the products, which is now embargoed. Therefore, the total scramble isn’t there and it’s hurting, but not biting.
Medvedev is just acting frustrated, because he knows this hurt the Russian industry and the exports. Some of the specialities even, which is vodka and caviar. These are their pride and joy. The type of products that is high value and oozing class.
The EU will not miss these things. The citizens can get similar things from elsewhere. Therefore, the ones losing here is Russia. That’s why Medvedev is so bitter about it and calls it war. Nevertheless, Russian businesses needs to change and they are paying the price over the illegal and brutal war in Ukraine. Peace.