The ban on such technologies would incorporate a licensing system similar to that used in sanctions against Iran, and would be target equipment in three sectors: deep-sea drilling, artic exploration and shale oil extraction. Although natural gas technologies were originally considered in earlier drafts, gas-related projects would not be affected in the final proposal.
Although the document says such energy-related technologies account for only 150 million euros in annual EU exports to Russia, the European Commission believes the restrictions, which are being pushed by the US, could hit Russian companies hard since they would not be able to find key components elsewhere.
"Russia needs EU technologies to develop some of the most competitive and export-oriented sectors of its economy, including energy and steel production," the memo says. "The possibility for Russia to substitute such products and technologies originating from the EU or U.S. is low in view of the likely unavailability of similar products."
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Other options included in the paper are an arms embargo, though the paper says the EU exports only about 300 million euros in weapons to Russia and it would largely affect the 3.2 billion euros in armaments imported from Russia by Europe. Many ex-Warsaw Pact countries still rely on Russian-made military equipment.
The Commission also identified about 20 billion euros in dual-use exports – goods that can be used by both civilian and military manufacturers – that could be covered by sanctions, but recommends initially targeting about 4 billion euros in "highly sensitive" products such as machine tools and "high-performance computers and electronics".
The financial measures take up the largest section of the options memo, however, and would mirror U.S. efforts to pressure the Putin government by destabilizing Russian capital markets. U.S. officials repeatedly cite capital outflows as a primary achievement of their sanctions regime.
"[It] would push companies to seek state financing as a stop-gap, further straining the government's budget," the document states.Although the ban would only affect primary and secondary market transactions of newly-issued Russian securities – meaning all existing stock and bonds would not be covered – it would also prevent EU advisers from providing assistance or investment services for any of the banks covered by the ban.