“Today we are taking another important step to limit Russia’s ability to continue and finance aggression against Ukraine. We ban the export of the most important – after energy resources – Russian commodity, gold,” said the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell.

“We are also extending the exceptions to agricultural transactions and oil transfers to third countries. Because the EU is making every effort to help us overcome the looming global food crisis. It is up to Russia to stop bombing Ukrainian fields and silos and stop blocking Black Sea ports,” he added.

The approved package “prohibits the purchase, import or transfer, directly or indirectly, of gold if it comes from Russia and has been exported from Russia to the EU or to any third country”. This prohibition also covers jewelery.

The package also expands the list of controlled items that can contribute to the military and technological strengthening of Russia or the development of its defense and security sector, thereby strengthening export controls in the field of dual-use and high technology.

The EU also introduces a number of clarifications to existing measures, for example in the areas of public procurement, aviation and justice. Technical assistance to Russia on aviation goods and technologies will be allowed to the extent necessary to secure the work of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in establishing technical industrial standards, and the prohibition of any transactions with Russian public entities will be slightly amended to ensuring access to justice.

In order to avoid possible negative consequences for food and energy security in the world, the EU decided to extend the exemptions from the ban on transactions with certain state entities in the field of trade in agricultural products and the transport of oil to third countries.

The EU Council stressed that it avoids any measures that could lead to food insecurity in the world. Likewise, EU measures do not prevent third countries and their nationals operating outside the EU from purchasing pharmaceutical or medical products from Russia.