The Sentry is an investigative and policy organization that seeks to disable multinational predatory networks that benefit from violent conflict, repression, and kleptocracy.
Euractiv Op-ed: Russian sanctions evasion shows circumvention is the biggest threat to Europe
Note: This op-ed was originally published in Euractiv and written by Anrike Visser, Senior EU Advisor on Illicit Finance Policy for The Sentry.
Russian sanctions evasion shows circumvention is the biggest threat to Europe
On 10 March, chief European Union diplomat Joseph Borrell told Euractiv that the EU had nearly exhausted sanctions to counter Russia and would focus on sanctions circumvention moving forward. While the size and scale of sanctions on Russia are unprecedented, sanctions circumvention has long been a serious problem and must be addressed, but not at the expense of new sanctions.
For years, civil society and the media have exposed breaches of sanctions, arms embargoes, and product bans. Until Russia’s circumvention tactics highlighted the true size of the enforcement gap, these felt like isolated events and struggled to make it on the EU’s agenda. In 2019, Marietje Schaake, a Dutch liberal MEP, called sanctions breaches a “systematic problem.”
So far, several EU countries and their neighbours have been able to identify and stop sanctions breaches, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. Estonia alone has found 1500 sanctions violations, according to their finance minister…