Cyprus wary of harsher Russia sanctions

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Cyprus is expected to join Hungary and Malta in opposing tougher European Union sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, reported the Financial Times.

The bloc has already issued seven sanction packages, approved by all 27 members, but an update of measures has already been vetoed by Hungary, with Malta and Cyprus appearing sceptical.

Sanctions need the approval of all EU member states.

News site StockWatch quotes state sources confirming Cyprus is negotiating with its EU partners over a new sanction package.

“There is an ongoing consultation process between member states to prepare a proposal that will be put before the European Council.

“The aim is to come up with a package that meets the objective, which is to deliver a negative impact on Russia,” said the source.

However, to stress that the specificities of each EU state should be considered to avoid delivering more negative impacts on domestic economies rather than on Russia.

According to the Financial Times, measures included in the package are likely to include supportive acts, such as a ban on imports of Russian diamonds for non-industrial purposes, a ban on imports of steel products, measures targeting the Russian IT and cyber security industry, more restrictions on banks and more travel bans and asset freezes for senior executives.

Poland and the Baltic states have proposed a ban on imports of Russian nuclear energy products and a moratorium on Russian citizens buying real estate in the EU. Still, they are reportedly seen as too difficult to achieve consensus.

The European Union’s foreign ministers have agreed to proceed with the preparation and imposition of new sanctions against Russia at their informal meeting in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, as announced by the High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell.

Speaking to reporters in New York, Borrell said the bloc’s 27 members had taken the political decision to impose new sanctions on several individuals and sectors of the Russian economy.