On 7th March, the Government of the Russian Federation published an updated list of states and territories that behave unfriendly towards Russia. The European Union is outraged by the appearance of the Russian list of unfriendly countries and condemns its publication, said the head of the E.U. foreign policy department, Peter Stano.
But not all European politicians reacted to the document published by Moscow in this way. The Prime Minister of Croatia, which is also on the list, said he “doesn’t care”. He believes Zagreb acted correctly, so he is proud of his country.
The already difficult relations between Russia and the European Union had become even more complicated since 24th February, when Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the start of a special military operation in Ukraine. As per the Russian, the goal is to protect the inhabitants of Donbas as the actions of the Ukrainian authorities can be regarded as genocide.
This has been going on for eight years and the only way out of this situation, according to the Kremlin, is the complete demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine. In addition, all those guilty of committing crimes against citizens of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics must be brought to justice, says Kremlin.
As the Russian Defense Ministry has repeatedly stated, the army strikes at the military infrastructure of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, trying to the maximum not to endanger civilians and their property.
The Russian list of unfriendly countries now includes 48 states, including Australia, Albania, Andorra, Great Britain (including the island of Jersey and controlled overseas territories – the island of Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, Gibraltar), E.U. countries, Iceland, Canada, Liechtenstein, Micronesia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, The Republic of Korea, San Marino, North Macedonia, Singapore, USA, Taiwan, Ukraine, Montenegro,
Switzerland and Japan.
The E.U. includes Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Hungary, Germany, Greece, Denmark, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Finland, France, Croatia, Czech Republic, Sweden and Estonia.
The order was prepared as part of the Decree of the President of 5th March 2022, “On the temporary procedure for fulfilling obligations to certain foreign creditors.”
What does it mean for the offenders?
As per the document, the state, Russian citizens and companies that have foreign currency payments to the creditors from the list of unfriendly countries will be able to pay them only in rubles.
The debtor has to ask a Russian bank to create a special ruble account “C” in the name of an overseas creditor and transfer payments to it in ruble equivalent at the rate of the Central Bank on the day of payment.
The new temporary procedure applies to payments exceeding 10 million rubles per month (or a similar amount in foreign currency).
The application for the transaction must indicate its purpose and conditions, documents on registration of a legal entity or individual entrepreneur, constituent documents, information about the beneficiaries of a foreign company, and a balance sheet as of the last reporting date.
A commission constituted for the purpose may issue a permit for a transaction, a refusal or a permit subject to certain conditions.
“All transactions and operations of Russian companies with citizens and firms from countries unfriendly to Russia will be approved by the government commission,” the government said. The commission includes representatives of the Central Bank and the presidential administration.
Despite the wording, it is not yet entirely clear whether ‘everything’ needs to be coordinated at all or only certain transactions.
In addition, all transactions of Russian firms with citizens and companies from the countries included in the list will be approved by the government commission for the control of foreign investment.