EU Blacklists North Korea’s Defense Minister, Chinese Firms for First Time in New Sanctions Over Russia's War in Ukraine

By Jace Dela Cruz

Feb 22, 2024 02:10 AM EST

The European Union (EU) has agreed to ban exports to three Chinese companies and blacklist North Korea's Defense Minister in new sanctions for the second anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

According to Euractiv, The latest round of restrictive measures, the 13th since Russia's President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, were quickly approved by EU ambassadors on Wednesday without discussion, except for a statement from Hungary, which last week had requested more time to review the contents.

(Photo : Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
VILNIUS, LITHUANIA - JULY 12: Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky walks past the flag of the European Union as he departs following the announcement of the G7 nations' joint declaration for the support of Ukraine on July 12, 2023 in Vilnius, Lithuania. The event took place at the 2023 NATO Summit.

New EU Sanctions Target Chinese Firms, Defense Minister of North Korea, and Other Entities From Russia

Moscow Times reported that the new round of sanctions enforces existing restrictions and targets around two hundred officials and entities, mainly from Russia, involved in the conflict, making it the most extensive package since the war began.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen lauded the agreement by the EU's 27 member nations and emphasized its role in further cutting Moscow's access to drones.

"We must keep degrading Putin's war machine," Von der Leyen wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

READ NEXT: EU Seals Massive $54 Billion Aid Deal for Ukraine After Hungary Gave In 

Several Companies in China, India, Turkey, Russia Banned From Dealing With EU Businesses

For the first time, EU diplomats said the new sanctions included adding three Chinese companies to a list of firms that EU businesses were banned from dealing with.

These companies were accused of supplying sensitive military technology to Russia, ultimately aiding its military operations in Ukraine.

Also, in a first, trade restrictions were included on Indian and Turkish companies assisting Russia in obtaining banned components and technologies as the EU member states increasingly target third countries for helping Russia circumvent its sanctions.

They also imposed an asset freeze and visa ban on North Korea's defense minister, Kang Sun Nam, over the country's supply of ballistic missiles to Russia.

The package also included sanctions on Russia's shipping companies transporting the weapons and expanded export restrictions on some electronics, such as chips, machines, and ball bearings used by Moscow's defense industry.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, the EU has already sanctioned around 2,000 officials and entities in the last two years. The Belgian presidency noted that a formal written procedure would turn the agreement into law by February 24.

READ MORE: Here's Why EU's Confiscation of Russian Central Bank Assets Is Highly Unlikely 

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