EU leader promises to take on companies that help Russia violate sanctions

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The EU's new package of sanctions against Russia will target more than 90 companies that help Moscow evade sanctions, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a May 20 interview with German publication ZDF.

These companies are based all over the world, with about eight being registered in China, Von der Leyen said, adding that the EU has firm proof that they transport sanctioned goods from EU countries to Russia through middleman states.

She seemed to evade a direct answer when asked if sanctions are being violated through India.

To crack down on evasion, the European Commission has proposed a tool to limit trade with third countries found to be going around trade restrictions.

However, Reuters reported on May 16 that the latest draft of the sanctions package would make it more difficult than originally proposed to punish third countries for violating restrictions.