site.btaOver 20,000 Companies Evade Russia Sanctions, Finance Minister Says
Over 20,000 companies are involved in evading the sanctions and continue supplying materials to and from Russia, Bulgarian Finance Minister Assen Vassilev said Monday during a news briefing after a meeting of Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov and the European Commissioner for financial services, financial stability and the Capital Markets Union, Mairead McGuinness.
The meeting discussed how such evasion of sanctions can be prevented, said Vassilev. "The main problem is that everywhere in Europe these companies use the proper customs documents. The twentieth package of sanctions now is being prepared and it deals with how to close these loopholes," he said.
He explained that much of the land transit of goods goes through Bulgaria, Turkiye and then on to other countries. "The aim is to examine everything much more thoroughly. This happens when a much deeper integration between the European Commission and the Customs Agency is done at operational level. In addition, patterns of behaviour need to be understood, not just specific transactions or transits," said Vassilev. He believes that a way needs to be found to "close down whole patterns of behaviour". "This can be done by regulations or specific procedures, mostly of the Customs Agency, but not only."
"We have experience with the UK with this kind of goods. At the moment we want to build on this experience and start with the Commission to identify the risks, the patterns of behaviour much more actively and stop this transit, which passes not only through Bulgaria, but also through many other countries," the Bulgarian Finance Minister said.
Prime Minister Denkov specified that an example of such goods could be electronic components to be used in various military applications.