Russia: EU bans exports of champagne, luxury cars and clothes to Russia

The EU on Tuesday banned exports of champagne, high-end cars, fashion clothes, expensive electronics and sports equipment to Russia as part of a new round of sanctions against Moscow for its war in Ukraine.

The 29-page list of luxury items now banned was published in the Official Journal of the European Union, which announces court rulings from the 27-nation bloc, detailing the broad outlines of sanctions announced last week by leaders of the EU. EU.

The sanctions package released by the EU adds 15 people – including oligarchs Roman Abramovich and German Khan, as well as people seen as “propagandists” for Russia – and nine key companies from Russia’s aviation, army, shipbuilding and mechanical engineering.

Also prohibited are investments and aid to the Russian energy sector and imports from Russia of finished steel. Credit rating agencies have also been banned from rating Russian institutions and companies.

The ban on EU luxury goods exports to Russia was an effort ‘to target the elite, the oligarchs’ in Russia, an EU official told reporters on condition not to be identified .

He said the EU’s total luxury goods sales to Russia amounted to 3.5 billion euros ($3.8 billion) a year – less than 5% of the value of global exports from the block – but warned that thresholds applied, so it wouldn’t all dry out. at the top.

“We only want to target products that will be luxury goods (…) so as not to hit the ordinary Russian who wants to buy household appliances or other cars of lesser value,” said another official. EU.

Thus, the export ban would apply to cars with a value of more than 50,000 euros, electronic items such as household appliances with a value of more than 750 euros, cameras and sound recording equipment over €1,000 and musical instruments over €1,500.

Also prohibited are exports of works of art, antiques, jewellery, including diamonds and pearls, watches and clocks, lead crystal ware, porcelain tableware and precious cutlery , as well as quality or fashion clothing and sports equipment such as ski boots and riding saddles.

An EU official said such export bans had already been imposed on “a number of rogue states like North Korea”.

He said: “This takes away a source of comfort from the elites who support Russian government action in Ukraine and have the financial resources to enjoy the lifestyle associated with the consumption of European-sourced luxury goods.”