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New E.U. Sanctions to Target Russian National Wealth Fund, Parliament Members: Sanctions Update

The European Union is set to announce a new round of sanctions on Wednesday, March 9,  targeting Russia’s National Wealth Fund, as well as 14 wealthy individuals and more than 140 members of the upper house of the Russian Parliament.

The new sanctions would also remove three Belarus banks from the SWIFT international payments system.

According to Bloomberg, “The measures were approved by EU ambassadors and will be adopted by the Council of the EU shortly, according to a tweet on Wednesday by the French representation to the EU.”

However, the latest round of sanctions may spare Russia’s Sberbank bank’s removal from the SWIFT messaging system. According to Bloomberg, Germany continues to resist efforts to cut Sberbank from SWIFT.

“Documents show that Germany has repeatedly urged caution over the move during diplomatic meetings that have taken place in recent days, including among ministers. Chancellor Olaf Scholz has also come out publicly, calling for restraint on sanctions that could impact energy.

He said this week that he opposes cutting off supplies from Russia, calling deliveries of oil and gas of “essential importance” to the European economy and making clear that continuing energy imports is a “conscious decision.”

In other news, The U.K. announced sanctions that will detain Russian aircraft and expand landing and overflight bans. The sanctions also ban British exports of aviation or space-related items and technology to Russia, including insurance.

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