Poland wants new package of sanctions on Russia to be tougher

PAP was told on Thursday by a high-ranking participant in negotiations on sanctions, speaking on condition of anonymity, that the point was that such decisions should not be taken at a national level, but by all 27 EU members. Monika Skolimowska/PAP

Poland has proposed amendments to the sixth package of EU sanctions against Russia that would make them tougher, PAP has been told by an EU source.

According to the source, Warsaw has demanded that the EU should decide to start gradually phasing out imports of Russian gas.

Poland also wants the EU to shorten the transition period on a complete ban on imports of Russian crude oil, and to include all EU member countries in a decision-making process concerning exclusions and derogation.

PAP was told on Thursday by a high-ranking participant in negotiations on sanctions, speaking on condition of anonymity, that the point was that such decisions should not be taken at a national level, but by all 27 EU members.

Warsaw also suggested that restrictions on sea and rail transport should be tightened in order to make it impossible to bypass them, for instance, by means of chartering a ship.

Polish negotiators said that sanctions would also be imposed on IT and accounting services as well as on public relations, and that more Russian and Belarusian banks, including Gazprombank, should be expelled from SWIFT, the high-security system for financial transactions that plays a key role in underpinning the global economy, the source said.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen unveiled the sixth package of sanctions against Russia on Wednesday, including a "complete ban on all Russian oil" and refined petroleum products within the next six months and more sanctions against banks.

The president of the European Commission admitted that the ban "will not be easy" to implement because some member states are heavily dependent on Russian oil.