The European Union is looking to hit Moscow once again through another round of sanctions in an attempt to financially cripple its war efforts in Ukraine, this time hitting Russia’s gold industry.
The 28 nation bloc is planning a similar gold ban to the sanctions package announced last week by four members of the G-7, including the US, UK, Canada and Japan, first reported by Bloomberg Friday.
Russia is reportedly the second-largest gold mining country in the world and exported roughly $15 billion worth of gold in 2021.
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The US Treasury Department said Tuesday that some 70 entities, including State Corporation Rostec, which it described as “the cornerstone of Russia’s defense,” were targeted in the sanctions.
“Targeting Russia’s defense industry will degrade [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s capabilities and further impede his war against Ukraine, which has already been plagued by poor morale, broken supply chains, and logistical failures,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement.
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Germany, France and Italy – the other three G-7 member nations – have not yet pushed through their own sanction plans, though French officials said they supported such a ban and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said a proposal was being discussed.
Industry officials reportedly told Bloomberg the move is largely symbolic at this point as European markets have effectively cut ties with Moscow after sweeping sanctions early on in the war imposed trade penalties.
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Exports to Kaliningrad, a Russian province sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea and without direct land access to Russia, could also reportedly be effected in the EU’s latest sanctions package.
It is unclear when the next set of sanctions are scheduled to be announced.