EU sanctions four Iranian companies for “supplying drones to Russia”

The European Union, in the 11th package of sanctions against Moscow, has imposed restrictions on four Iranian entities manufacturing unmanned aerial vehicles. Kiev and its allies have accused Tehran of sending attack drones to Moscow, an allegation Iran denies.

The European Union adopted on Friday the 11th sanctions package against Russia for its war in Ukraine.

The Council of the European Union announced in a statement that it introduced “measures intended to strengthen existing EU sanctions and crack down on their circumvention.”

With the decision, the EU blacklisted another 87 entities “directly supporting Russia’s military and industrial complex” that will have to face tighter export restrictions on dual-use goods and technologies.

The list includes four Iranian companies supplying military drones to Russia, as well as firms from other countries that contributed to circumventing trade ban.

The bloc also prohibited the transit through Russia’s territory of more EU-made goods and technology that may be used for military purposes.

The EU extended the transport ban of Russian goods to trailers and semi-trailers registered in Russia, and prohibited any vessels that perform ship-to-ship transfers to dock at EU ports.

The decision also withdrew the broadcasting license of five media outlets with close ties to the Russian state.

The EU introduced new, so-called “last resort measures” that can restrict the trade of goods or technology to third countries if they prove to be “substantially and systematically” circumventing EU sanctions.

The previous sanctions target, among others, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and ban gold, oil and coal imports and the export of luxury goods and high-tech technology, as well as exclude Russian and Belarusian banks from the SWIFT international payment system.

Both Iran and Russia have repeatedly denied claims that Tehran has provided Moscow with drones to be used in the Ukraine war.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian in November dismissed media controversy over Iran’s alleged support for Russia in the Ukraine war, adding, however, that Tehran had provided Moscow with a limited number of drones months before the war in Ukraine.

He also assured that Iran will not be indifferent if it is proven that Russia has used Iranian drones in the conflict.

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