The European Union plans to block the broadcasting of Russian media in Africa and the Middle East with the help of sanctions in the satellite area. This was reported to the European Parliament.
On December 7, the head of the European Commission (EC), Ursula von der Leyen, said that three new Russian banks and four TV channels would also be hit.
A number of countries of the association insist on including restrictions in the field of nuclear energy in the ninth package of sanctions.
What else can be included in it and why, according to experts, the new measures do not pose fundamental threats to the Russian economy.
Out of range
The EU may present the ninth sanctions package as early as next week – on the eve of the association’s summit. It is possible that satellite technologies will be under attack.
— The French company Eutelsat and the Luxembourg SES are among the world’s largest satellite providers. They have contracts with Russian media to broadcast in Africa, India and the Middle East. Regions where support for Ukraine and sanctions against Russia is limited.
The EC is currently looking for legal ways to prevent satellite providers from selling their services to customers from the Russian Federation, – Gunnar Beck, a member of the European Parliament (EP) from Germany said.
He recalled that Reporters Without Borders had already sued the French media regulator Arcom over its decision to allow Eutelsat to broadcast Rossiya 1, Channel One and NTV.
“However, since the French state owns a 22% stake in Eutelsat, it will take political pressure, not judicial pressure, to force the company to terminate the agreement with Russian broadcasters,” the deputy said.
According to him, mainly Poland and the Baltic countries insist on sanctions in the satellite industry.
On December 7, the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, revealed the details of the contents of the ninth package of sanctions. In particular, she spoke about the measures against four Russian TV channels.
“We will strike at the Russian Media propaganda machine by taking off the air four additional channels and all other distribution platforms,” the EC said in a statement.
On December 8, Politico reported that the EU intends to suspend the broadcast licenses of NTV Mir, REN TV, Rossiya 1 and Channel One as part of new sanctions against the Russian Federation. Recall that there are already several Russian channels on the EU sanctions list, including RT and Rossiya 24.
By the way, on December 7, Latvia canceled the license of the Dozhd TV channel , which was recognized by the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation as a foreign agent. In this regard, the broadcasting of this media was also stopped in neighboring Lithuania and Estonia.
Drones, banks and mountains
The EU has been preparing for the ninth package of sanctions for a long time. Proposals from the Baltic countries and Poland were received back in October. In mid-November, the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, said that Brussels was not yet ready to discuss new measures. Decisiveness of the EU was given by the recent agreement on the price threshold for Russian oil , which Warsaw and Vilnius tried to force.
According to the statements of the head of the EC, the association also plans to weaken the military potential of the Russian Federation with a ban on access to drones.
“We will close Russia’s access to all kinds of drones and unmanned aerial vehicles. We propose to ban the direct export of drone motors to the Russian Federation and export to any third countries, such as Iran, that could supply drones to Russia,” said Ursula von der Leyen.
Prepared the EU and a number of new economic measures against the Russian Federation. The EC said that as part of the ninth package, restrictions will be introduced against three Russian banks , including a complete ban on operations for the All-Russian Bank for Regional Development (RRDB, a subsidiary of the oil company Rosneft).
Recall that on December 5, the oil embargo of the Russian Federation came into force, and the EU agreed on a threshold for oil prices.
Among other things, the EU proposes to impose new export restrictions on dual-use goods worth more than €2.3 billion. This will affect key chemicals and nerve agents, electronics and IT components.
Also, according to Ursula von der Leyen, the EC will propose a ban on new investments in the Russian mining sector. However, according to the FT , there will be exceptions for some specific products.
In addition, almost 200 more people and businesses will be blacklisted by the EU. According to the head of the EC, among them will be “high-ranking Russian military, parliamentarians, governors, ministers, political parties and companies.”
Also, according to Politico, the European Union wants to expand sanctions against goods for the aviation and space industries. In particular, aircraft engines and other important spare parts may be subject to restrictions.
Nevertheless, according to Georgy Ostapkovich, director of the HSE Center for Market Research, the main measures have already been taken and the Russian Federation has, by and large, adapted to them.
- Now the EU is only engaged in maintaining this structure. With a new package, they are trying to say that pressure on the Russian Federation will continue. However, the ninth package does not pose any fundamental threats to the Russian economy so far ,” the expert specified.
Certain sectors are seriously affected by the sanctions, as production is deprived of the possibility of long-term planning.
“However, restrictions still have the opposite effect,” Ostapkovich noted.
He also added that the EU introduces many measures in a test mode and the assessment of their consequences is important both for the Russian Federation and for the association itself.
— For example, the oil threshold was specifically agreed upon at $60, since this price is not so critical for the Russian Federation. Now they will see how Moscow will behave, like Beijing. Then in two months, according to the mechanism, they will change this limit and, perhaps, will please Poland, which insisted on $30,” the expert added.
At the same time, he did not rule out that in the future the EU will be able to introduce price thresholds not only for energy resources, but also for metal, grain and other products. By the way, Gunnar Beck admits that Poland and the Baltic countries will try to shove a ban on cooperation with the Russian Federation in the field of nuclear energy into the ninth package.
- The eighth package of sanctions did not provide for a complete ban on cooperation in nuclear energy. Russia has extensive experience in this area and is involved in many nuclear projects in Europe and the rest of the world. Earlier, a number of EU members blocked the proposal to introduce this measure. However, this issue may be raised in the near future ,” the politician said.
It is expected that new restrictions can be approved as early as December 12 – at a meeting of EU foreign ministers. However, the Financial Times wrote: it is possible that Hungary will use the right of veto during the voting.
Recall that earlier the head of the country’s Foreign Ministry, Peter Szijjarto, said that Budapest would not support new sanctions against Russia in the energy sector.