EU deal on Russia new sanctions getting tougher



Hoekstra: It is getting more difficult for the European Union to agree on new Russian sanctions


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Hoekstra: It is getting more difficult for the European Union to agree on new Russian sanctions

THE HAGUE (Reuters) – It is becoming increasingly difficult in the European Union to reach agreement on new sanctions against Russia. This was stated by Minister Wopke Hoekstra (Foreign Affairs) on Thursday in the House of Representatives. At the beginning of next week, he will again consult with his European colleagues about new steps against Moscow.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the European Union, in coordination with the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, has imposed severe sanctions on President Vladimir Putin’s regime. Russian banks were cut off from the international payment system SWIFT and funds were frozen.

Hoekstra thinks it’s a good idea to always put a new layer on top of existing penalties. He said in a House debate that sanctions are now slightly less difficult than they were two weeks ago. There are several reasons for this. The effects of sanctions are examined. Moreover, the EU does not want to stand in the way of negotiations between Ukraine and Russia.

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But it will be more difficult for the 27 member states to reach agreement on new sanctions. “By the way, the agreement hasn’t necessarily gotten easier because countries are also wondering: what a hit I got myself,” Hoekstra said. The government continues to support the imposition of new sanctions against Russia.

Nor does the EU have many new sanctions available anymore. Then oil and gas will have to be considered. However, a number of countries are highly dependent on energy supplies from Russia. It simply cannot be replaced. Insiders say Germany, among other countries, is now showing restraint. The government also believes it is important to maintain unity within the European Union. Sanctions require everyone’s consent.

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It also proposes closing European ports to Russian ships. The minister stressed that this matter is not negative. According to him, it is very important that such an agreement be reached at the EU level. Otherwise, Hoekstra said, you will only get transfer of cargo flows and diversion of ships, for example, from Rotterdam to Antwerp. “So you haven’t achieved anything at all.”

Megan Vasquez

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