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EU Council Approves Decision to Include Sanctions Evasion in List of Criminal Offenses

© AP Photo / Virginia MayoEuropean Union headquarters is reflected in the windows of the EU Council building prior to an EU summit in Brussels on Tuesday, June 28, 2016.
European Union headquarters is reflected in the windows of the EU Council building prior to an EU summit in Brussels on Tuesday, June 28, 2016. - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.11.2022
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The EU Council approved on Monday the decision to include the violation of restrictive measures in the list of the bloc's criminal offenses.
"The Council today unanimously adopted a decision to add the violation of restrictive measures to the list of ‘EU crimes’ included in the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU," the EU body said in a statement.
Following the decision, the European Commission is expected to "present a proposal for a directive containing minimum rules concerning the definition of criminal offenses and penalties for the violation of EU restrictive measures," the statement read.
An oil pumpjack in Tatarstan, Russia - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.11.2022
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The European Commissioner for Justice previously stated that the inclusion of attempts to circumvent sanctions in the EU list of criminal offenses opens the way to the confiscation of Russian business assets.
Since the launch of a military operation in Ukraine, western countries have blocked about $300Bln of Russian assets. According to reports, the total amount of Russian assets frozen by the European Union is 68 billion euros, most of them in Belgium.
The EU has pledged to end its dependence on Russian energy supplies and approved eight packages of sanctions against the country. The West has also threatened Russian partners with similar restrictions in the event of continued cooperation with and support for Moscow.
On November 11, an EU source told Sputnik that the bloc would introduce the ninth package of sanctions against Moscow significantly later than it initially planned due to "sanction fatigue" among member states and a limited amount of pressure tools.
Western countries set the course for isolating Russia after it launched a military operation in Ukraine in February. They have rolled out a comprehensive sanctions campaign against Moscow and urged the international community to ban Russian officials and nationals from attending various events.
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