Saturday, July 13, 2024

Germany’s concerns delaying EU’s latest Russia sanctions

Diplomats in Brussels said Germany’s concern and request for changes were decisive factors in the delay of the latest Russian sanctions package.

• June 13, 2024
Scholz speaking with Zelensky (credit: Reuters)
Scholz speaking with Zelensky (credit: Reuters)

Berlin is bogging down negotiations on the latest EU sanctions package intended to prevent Russia from circumventing existing punitive measures imposed over the war in Ukraine, dpa has learnt.

Diplomats in Brussels said Germany’s concern and request for changes were decisive factors in the delay of the latest Russian sanctions package.

They said it recently felt like Germany had become the new Hungary, referring to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who has repeatedly delayed decisions on Russia sanctions at the EU level.

When asked by dpa on Thursday, a spokesman for Germany’s permanent representation to the EU did not comment on the negotiations, saying that the discussions among the advisers of member states were confidential.

The latest planned EU punitive measures were aimed at preventing the circumvention of existing sanctions, with Russia’s defence industry still benefiting from Western technology.

The technology that would help produce weapons for war in the neighbouring Ukraine.

For the first time, the EU plans to impose strict sanctions against Russia’s multi-billion-dollar liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry.

According to diplomats, the European Commission is looking to bar the shipment of Russian LNG to third countries from EU ports such as the one in Belgium’s Zeebrugge.

The hope is that this would reduce Russian LNG profits and thus available investments for the war in Ukraine.

According to EU diplomats, German reticence is mainly concerned with the planned measures to prevent sanctions from being circumvented.

Berlin is calling for a planned rule limiting the liability of subsidiaries in case certain goods are violated or cancelled.

This is amid apparent fears that German companies could be held responsible for sanctions violations.


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