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According to two sources for Reuters, the European Commission is expected to impose its seventh package of sanctions on Russia on Friday, which would include a ban on the purchase of Russian gold and a tweaking of current restrictive measures to avoid impeding food shipments.

The current sanctions are deemed a “a maintenance and alignment package,” according to one official, referring to it as a “sixth-and-a-half” round of penalties due to their restricted breadth in comparison to earlier rounds that targeted Russian oil or coal.

However, certain actions may have a significant effect on the impacted industries.

The proposed package includes a ban on Russian gold imports into the EU, which was originally reported by Reuters in June and would take effect with the passage of the additional penalties. 

According to the two persons who refused to be identified, the EU Commission is set to approve the additional measures later on Friday. The revised package will be discussed by EU envoys next week in preparation for final ratification before the summer break.

According to one source to Reuters, imports of Russian gold via other nations will also be disrupted, although no details were provided.

According to the source, Brussels would also strengthen current safeguards by imposing additional restrictions on imports of products that may be used for military purposes, such as chemicals and equipment.

Another two sources and one EU official told Reuters, new persons and organizations deemed connected to the Kremlin will be added to the EU blacklist, requiring the freezing of their assets and travel restrictions.

According to the three officials, the Commission would also revise current sanctions to ensure that they do not harm Russia’s agricultural and grain exports.

African nations have claimed that EU sanctions have exacerbated the continuing food crisis, which has been exacerbated by the conflict in Ukraine and Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian ports from which grains are typically sent throughout the globe.

The EU has long denied that its sanctions have had an impact on food commerce. According to one source, the proposed changes are intended to ensure that laws are not misconstrued by merchants, and include a ban on Russian ships entering EU ports.

Russian ships are already permitted to visit EU ports if they bring food or medication.

However, some merchants have avoided food shipped from Russian ports held indirectly by Russian state-owned firms sanctioned by Brussels. According to the source, the revised package would make it clear that certain ports are free from penalties.

According to the source, the Commission is also anticipated to strengthen the current prohibition on Russian boats accessing EU ports in order to prevent them from circumventing sanctions by discharging their goods at outside docks. The definition of ports will be expanded for this purpose.

The person stated that a prohibition on supplying Western cloud services to Russian customers, which was first considered for the new package, is now being kept for future rounds since the policy is now being coordinated with the United States and Britain, whose corporations dominate the industry.

Source: Reuters

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