ECOWAS and the end of sanctions in Niger and Russia vs. Western sanctions

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has lifted sanctions that were imposed on Niger, which is currently under military rule, on humanitarian grounds. The lifted sanctions include the reopening of land and air borders between Niger and ECOWAS member states, lifting the no-fly zone for commercial flights to and from Niger, resuming electricity transfers from Nigeria (which provides 70% of Niger’s energy needs), and financial transactions between Niger and ECOWAS members. Additionally, asset freezes and travel bans on Nigerien government officials have also been lifted.

Roscosmos, the Russian State Corporation for Space Activities, intends to sell assets worth approximately USD 124 million, including real estate, due to sanctions imposed by the West. The war in Ukraine resulted in Roscosmos losing almost 80% of its export revenues after losing orders and critical partners, such as the British satellite operator Eutelsat OneWeb Ltd. and the Korea Space Research Institute (KARI).

Despite the numerous sanctions packages imposed, almost a quarter of the USD 488 million worth of sensitive goods that arrived in Russia from the European Union in the first ten months of 2023 were sent directly from Europe. The rest of the goods reached Russia through third countries, such as Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Serbia, China, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Armenia. This allows Russia to acquire sanctioned technologies and use them as weapons during the war with Ukraine.

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