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Two EU countries are opposing the extension of anti-Russian sanctions

Two EU countries are opposing the extension of anti-Russian sanctions

Two EU countries are opposing the extension of anti-Russian sanctions
March 15
18:03 2016

Italy and Hungary oppose the automatic extension of the anti-Russian sanctions. This statement was made by the foreign ministers of these countries. They discussed further actions of the European Union towards Russia together with their colleagues. The EU was only able to formulate general principles about this issue.

The foreign ministers of 28 EU countries have not accepted the decision on anti-Russian sanctions. The head of the meeting, Federica Mogherini, who is responsible for the EU foreign policy, was clearly trying to avoid the split in the Union. She perfectly knows that not all EU countries are ready to continue the support for the sanctions regime against Russia. Mogherini has just outlined general approches to relations of Moscow.

According to Mogherini, “all 28 EU countries agree that the relations with Russia should be based on five principles. The first principle includes the implemention of the Minsk agreements. The EU doesn’t recognize the annexation of Crimea.”

She added that the EU aspired to strengthen its relations with the Eastern partners, including Central Asia. “In this matter the cooperation with Russia should be selective, for example, common interests on Syria or the DPRK. We also want to support civil society in Russia,” Mogherini said.

Personal sanctions have been recently extended by the EU until the end of July. Economic and Crimean bloc of sanctions will be discussed in the summer. The extension of the sanctions is clearly supported by the UK, Poland and the Baltic countries.

However, Italy, Hungary, Greece and Cyprus want to revise anti-Russian measures taken by the EU. The head of the Italian diplomacy Paolo Gentiloni said that it was impossible to extend the sanctions automatically, it was necessary to reconsider the whole approach. The Foreign Minister of Hungary Peter Siyarto agreed with him. 

There is no unity among the countries of the European Union. The extension of restrictive measures in banking, defense and energy sectors will be clearly the subject of very heated debates among the Europeans in a few months.

 

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Irina Dashkina

Irina Dashkina

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