The European Union (EU) is preparing to impose sanctions on three Chinese companies for their ties to Russia, marking the first time the bloc will sanction Chinese and Indian businesses since the invasion of Ukraine. This move comes as the EU considers imposing measures against companies based in Hong Kong, India, Serbia and Turkey for their alleged support for Russia.
According to reports from Bloomberg and the Financial Times, a draft proposal has been prepared that would ban companies from doing business with named parties the EU believes could help Russia in its war in Ukraine. The proposal has not yet been made public, but it is expected to be voted on by member states soon.
The invasion of Ukraine by Russia in February 2022 prompted the EU and other Western countries to rush to sanction Moscow. The EU alone applied 12 packages of sanctions in the past two years, while other countries imposed similar measures. However, this is the first time that Chinese and Indian businesses have been targeted since the invasion.
During a visit to Beijing in April 2023, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen warned Chinese leader Xi Jinping against supporting Russia’s war effort. She emphasized the key role of China’s position in the conflict and expressed the EU’s expectation that China not provide any military assistance, directly or indirectly, to Russia. Von der Leyen stressed that arming an aggressor would be against international law and would significantly harm the EU’s relations with China.