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European Union to Ease Sanctions on Russian Banks to Allow Food Trade

The European Union will ease its sanctions on Russia by allowing the unfreezing of some funds of top Russian banks that may be required to ease bottlenecks in the global trade of food and fertilizers.

This move comes amid criticism from leaders of Africa about the negative impact of the sanctions on the trade, which might have exacerbated shortages mainly caused by invasion of Ukraine by Russia and blocking ports in Black Sea.

According to the reports, under the changes regulation, which is expected to be adopted by European Union envoys, and European Union member nations will be able to unblock previously blocked economic resources that are owned by to lenders of Russia.

Separately, under new sanctions, which are to be adopted, Sberbank, largest bank Russia, will also become subject to the freezing of its assets, along with the exception of resources needed for food trade.

The draft document said money can be released after having determined that such economic resources or funds are necessary for the purchase, along with import or transport of agricultural and food products, including fertilizers and wheat.

Under the revised sanctions, the European Union is also planning to facilitate exports of food from Russian ports, which the traders had stopped servicing after sanctions by European Union despite the measures exempting food exports.

Along with the United States, the United Kingdom, and others, the European Union has imposed removing sanctions on Russia after invading Ukraine.