Violation of Sanctions = Violation of the Law

by Olha Povaliaieva
Monday, November 28, 2022
Violation of Sanctions = Violation of the Law

The European Council adopted a resolution classifying the circumvention of sanctions against Russia as a violation of EU laws

On November 28, the Council of the European Union unanimously decided to include the deliberate circumvention of sanctions against the terrorist country in the list of "EU crimes", which is part of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU. This was announced by Pavel Blažek, Czech minister of justice.

In order to counter Russian aggression against Ukraine, the European Union adopted an unprecedented number of sanctions against the aggressor country. The sanctions are aimed at depriving Russia of the ability to continue the war. However, sanctions are only half the battle. The second half is the joint, full, responsible implementation of these sanctions. This is the only way this tool can be effective.

"Currently member states have different definitions of what constitutes a violation of restrictive measures and what penalties should be applied in the event of violation. This could lead to different degrees of enforcement of sanctions and a risk of these measures being circumvented, potentially allowing sanctioned persons to continue accessing their assets and supporting regimes targeted by EU measures," Pavel Blažek.

Therefore, the criminalization of sanctions circumvention/violations of EU measures against Russia is the first step towards creating an equivalent application of sanctions to stop the war.

Further, the European Commission will submit proposals for a directive with minimum rules that define criminal offences, as well as the measure of responsibility for the violation of EU restrictive measures.

Currently, the minimum EU rules cover the areas of grave crimes: terrorism, human trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and children, drug trafficking, arms trafficking, money laundering, corruption, counterfeiting of means of payment, computer crime and organized crime.

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