The images of the massacre in Boutcha, northwest of Kiev, where the Russian army is accused of war crimes, should lead to a new series of European sanctions. This is what’s on the table now.
Tighten the grip on the Russian economy. In the absence of military intervention, Europeans are working on new sanctions against the Kremlin, after the images of the massacre in Boutcha, northwest of Kiev, where the Russian army is accused of war crimes.
Emmanuel Macron was invited to France on Monday morning and favored “a new set of sanctions” against Russia. Germany has also called for new measures. In the morning, the European Union confirmed the “emergency” floor on this issue.
But what is the remaining leeway? By cutting off access to Swift for several Russian banks, the Europeans had already activated the “atomic weapon” that partially cut Russia off from global finances.
Similarly, the export of key technologies in the defense, telecommunications and aviation sectors was banned. European airspace is also closed to Russian aircraft, forcing them to make long and costly detours. Finally, dozens of personalities have been sanctioned and their assets frozen.
The Europeans still have some leeway. Firstly, it is always possible to tighten the blocking of exports a little more by broadening the spectrum of the affected products and closing the SWIFT system to all Russian banks (notably Gazprombank which is not involved). European ports may also be closed to Russian ships or goods, as requested by the head of Ukrainian diplomacy, Dmytro Kouleba.
gas under pressure
Above all, the pressure on the issue of Russian energy imports is mounting significantly. If shutting off the gas tap is likely the last measure, Europeans could already impose an embargo on Russian oil and coal. The question had been raised in recent weeks, but was eventually abandoned due to lack of consensus. Boutcha’s images should move the lines.
Last Saturday, the Baltic states announced the end of their imports of Russian gas. The total cessation of orders for Europe would nevertheless plunge certain European countries into great uncertainty with a significant risk of rising energy prices.
Russia, for its part, rejects the allegations of war crimes in Ukraine as a whole.