After two months of negotiations, the EU countries approved another package of anti-Russian sanctions.

This was announced on Friday, February 23, by the EU Council.

The approved list of restrictions was the 13th in a row over the past two years and affected another 106 individuals and 88 legal entities.

As the European Council emphasized, the restrictions are aimed primarily at the military-industrial complex of the Russian Federation.

“The European Union continues to put pressure on Russia.

Today, we are further tightening restrictive measures against the Russian military and defense sector, introducing sanctions against even more legal entities in third countries that supply military equipment... We remain united in our determination to stop the Russian military machine and help Ukraine,” the head said Eurodiplomacy Josep Borrell.

The new EU sanctions list includes 27 legal entities that “directly support” the Russian military-industrial complex.

Moreover, we are talking not only about domestic enterprises, but also about companies from India, China, Serbia, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Thailand and Sri Lanka.

These organizations will be subject to more stringent restrictions on the supply of European dual-use goods and technologies, as well as products that can “contribute to the technological development” of the Russian defense sector.

At the same time, the European Union banned the supply to Russia of components for the development and production of drones, electrical transformers, semiconductors, certain equipment and some chemicals.

This, as the EU believes, should also hinder the development of the industrial potential of the Russian Federation.

In addition to the military-industrial complex and persons associated with it, the 13th sanctions package affects representatives of the Russian judiciary.

The restrictions also apply to politicians and citizens responsible for the “illegal deportation and military re-education of Ukrainian children.”

Among individuals, the sanctions included, for example, the governors of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug, Belgorod, Penza, Ryazan and Tula regions, as well as the ministers of education, health, labor and social policy of the Kherson region.

In addition, restrictions were introduced against Deputy Head of the Russian Ministry of Defense Alexei Krivoruchko, Head of the Center for Unmanned Aviation of the Russian Ministry of Defense Alexander Fedorko, Deputy Commander of the Black Sea Fleet Arkady Romanov and Director of the Vympel International Aviation Company Igor Makushev.

Among the legal entities subject to sanctions were the companies Aviatek, MG-Flot, Sovfrakht, VNIIRT and the Ulyanovsk Mechanical Plant.

Restrictions were also introduced against the all-Russian social and state movement “Movement of the First”.

In total, there are now more than 2 thousand people and companies on the EU blacklist.

Their EU assets are frozen and European citizens and businesses can no longer transfer money to them.

Moreover, individuals subject to sanctions are prohibited from entering the territory of the association or transiting through it.


  • © Mustafa Yalcin Anadolu

“All these restrictions are mostly vegetarian in nature.

They may be painful for individual individuals and companies related to the defense industry, but for the economy as a whole, the restrictions cannot be called critical.

It is important that sanctions do not affect, for example, the diamond or nuclear industries, since this is unprofitable for Europe itself, which depends on these resources,” said Georgiy Ostapkovich, director of the Center for Market Research at the Institute of Statistical Research and Economics of Knowledge at the National Research University Higher School of Economics, in an interview with RT.

In his opinion, certain difficulties may be caused by restrictions against Russia’s partner countries.

Thus, under sanctions pressure, some large organizations from friendly states will be forced to stop cooperation with Moscow.

However, small and medium-sized companies will continue to work with Russia and through them “there will remain a loophole to circumvent sanctions,” the specialist is sure.

A similar point of view is shared by Sergei Suverov, associate professor at the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation.

“This can really create difficulties for business at first.

However, I think that through political channels it will be possible to find ways to circumvent the restrictions,” the RT interlocutor emphasized.

Washington's attempts

Simultaneously with Europe, the United States announced new anti-Russian restrictions on Friday.

According to American President Joe Biden, Washington has approved over 500 additional restrictions against Moscow.

As the head of the White House clarified, these measures affect the financial sector and the military-industrial complex of the Russian Federation, trade chains and persons evading sanctions in different countries.

“We are also introducing new export restrictions on nearly 100 organizations for providing covert support to the Russian military machine.

We are taking measures to further reduce Russia's energy revenues.

And I have directed my team to strengthen support for civil society, independent media, and those fighting for democracy around the world,” Biden added.

In particular, the restrictive measures of the States affected the National Payment Card System (operator of the MIR platform), PJSC SPB Bank, banks Avangard, RostFinance, Modulbank and other financial organizations.

In addition, the list included Rosgeologia, the PIK development group, the Aurus brand car manufacturer, the Pipe Metallurgical Company, RusHimAlliance, Almazuvelirexport, TransContainer, the Imperial Tula Arms Plant, NOVATEK-Murmansk, the Zvezda shipbuilding complex, Mechel and a number of other companies, including from China, the UAE and Serbia.

All these organizations are subject to so-called blocking sanctions.

The assets of companies in the States will be frozen, and American businesses will be prohibited from working with them.

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  • © Evan Vucci

“In general, we can say that the worst did not happen.

Many feared that the United States would impose sanctions against the National Clearing Center, which would endanger exchange trading in the dollar and euro, but this did not happen.

Problems due to restrictions remain at the St. Petersburg Exchange, including due to SPB Bank being subject to restrictions.

However, all other restrictions do not come as much of a surprise,” Andrei Loboda, economist and communications director at BitRiver, told RT.

According to him, in connection with the imposition of sanctions against NSPK, banks of friendly countries that have assets in the United States will stop accepting payments with MIR cards.

In this regard, Moscow will most likely have to create a separate payment system with partner states.

However, the expert is sure that the new US restrictions will not affect settlements within Russia in any way.

“It’s a little surprising that the PIK developer operating in the domestic market was included in the sanctions list.

Moreover, Russia mainly has its own construction materials, while we produce construction equipment ourselves or import it from Belarus and China.

However, this is a definite signal to other developers that the United States has gone to great lengths and is introducing sanctions against anyone, as long as it is against Russia.

Sanctions still remain a meaningless manifestation of the Russophobic policies of the West,” Loboda added.

“We were predicted to collapse, but the economy is growing”

In total, there are currently about 20 thousand different sanctions against Russia (more than 17 thousand of them have been introduced since February 2022, after the start of the SVO).

This is more than against Iran, Syria, North Korea, Belarus, Venezuela, Myanmar and Cuba combined, as follows from open data, including materials from the specialized portal Castellum.AI.

The restrictions affected, in particular, the energy, aviation, trade, banking and financial sectors.

Along with this, almost half of Russia’s gold and foreign exchange reserves were frozen (worth $300 billion), and many international companies announced their departure from the Russian Federation.

Under these conditions, some analysts initially predicted a collapse of 10-25% in the Russian economy in 2022.

However, the real decline was only 1.2% and turned out to be even less deep than in the pandemic year 2020 (2.7%) and the crisis years 2015 (2%) and 2009 (7.8%), they say in the materials of the International Monetary Fund and the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.

Moreover, in 2023, GDP managed to fully recover the sanctions losses and grew by 3.6%.

Thus, the country not only withstood unprecedented external pressure, but also continued to develop confidently.

President Vladimir Putin announced this on February 2 at the “Everything for Victory!” forum.

“The entire economy has demonstrated stability... We were predicted, as you know, to decline, fail, collapse, that under the pressure of sanctions we would retreat, surrender, fall apart.

I want to show a well-known gesture, but I won’t do it... They won’t succeed.

And our economy is growing, unlike their economies, and today... in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP)... it has become the first in Europe, the fifth in the world.

And this process will increase,” Putin emphasized.

It is noteworthy that the rate of economic growth in Russia at the end of 2023 turned out to be noticeably higher than in the United States (2.5%) and the eurozone (0.5%).

Moreover, ten European countries, including Germany, are completely faced with a recession.

One of the main reasons for this dynamics was largely the consequences of anti-Russian sanctions, analysts say.

“Any sanctions have a two-way effect.

Of course, for some of our industries and companies these restrictions bring great discomfort.

However, some Western countries have lost a lot due to these restrictions, but still believe that the game is worth the candle,” concluded Georgiy Ostapkovich.