EU adopts 11th package of sanctions against Russia

This June 12, 2020 photo shows the Kremlin. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

BRUSSELS/MOSCOW – The Council of the European Union on Friday formally adopted its 11th package of sanctions on Russia since the breakout of the Ukrainian crisis last year.

The package includes measures aimed at countering the circumvention of sanctions, and adds 87 new entities to the list of those "directly supporting Russia's military and industrial complex”.

In response, Moscow has expanded the list of EU representatives who are banned from entering Russia, Sputnik reported

It imposes a full ban on trucks with Russian trailers and semi-trailers from transporting goods to the EU, and extends the ban on the export of luxury cars to all new and second-hand cars above a certain engine size, and all-electric and hybrid vehicles.

The temporary derogation granted to Germany and Poland for the supply of crude oil from Russia through the northern section of the Druzhba oil pipeline will end, according to the Council. 

However, oil originating from Kazakhstan or another third country will be able to continue to transit through Russia and imported into the EU via the Druzhba oil pipeline, it added.

In response, Moscow has expanded the list of EU representatives who are banned from entering Russia, Sputnik reported on Friday. 

The Russian news agency quoted the Russian Foreign Ministry as saying the EU's move was “illegitimate, undermining the international legal prerogatives of the UN Security Council.”

Zaporizhzhia safety

Alexey Likhachev, general director of Russia's Rosatom State Corporation, discussed the nuclear safety situation around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (ZNPP) with the International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Rafael Grossi in Russia's Kaliningrad on Friday.

During the discussion, both delegations addressed ZNPP security issues that Grossi raised at the UN Security Council briefing on May 30, Rosatom said in a statement.

Likhachev emphasized that the Russian side "expects the IAEA Secretariat to take specific steps to prevent strikes by the Ukrainian armed forces both on the ZNPP and on the adjacent territory”, it added.

He informed Grossi about the specific measures currently being taken by the Russian side to ensure the nuclear facility's safe operation, particularly its water supply "after the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant dam was destroyed by the Ukrainian armed forces”, said Rosatom.

Both sides further discussed the outcomes of Grossi's visit to the plant on June 15. During his visit, Grossi was able to personally verify whether the plant could continue operating safely, and confirm among other things that the water supply in the cooling pond was sufficient for the safe operation of the facility.