The European Union is reportedly considering imposing sanctions on three Chinese companies due to their ties to Russia, marking the first time the bloc will sanction Chinese businesses since the invasion of Ukraine. This move comes as the EU is also evaluating firms based in Hong Kong, India, Serbia, and Turkey for their alleged support of Russia.
The draft proposal, which has not yet been made public, would ban companies from doing business with the listed parties that the EU believes could be aiding Russia in its war in Ukraine. Member states voting through the plan would mark the first time that the trading bloc has imposed restrictions on Chinese businesses since Russia invaded its neighbor in February 2022. In the aftermath of the invasion, the EU implemented 12 sanctions packages over the past two years.
During a visit to Beijing in April 2023, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen warned China’s leader Xi Jinping not to support Russia’s war efforts, emphasizing the crucial role of China’s position in the conflict and expressing the EU’s expectation for China not to provide any military equipment, directly or indirectly, to Russia. Von der Leyen stressed that arming an aggressor would be against international law and that it would significantly harm Europe’s relationship with China.