Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Putin’s War: EU foreign ministers debate further sanctions against Russia

A decision on further sanctions “is going to dominate and it’s not going to be easy,’’ an EU diplomat said.

• March 21, 2022
Russian President, Vladimir Putin
Russian President, Vladimir Putin

EU Foreign and Defence Ministers were to discuss the Russian invasion of Ukraine with a focus on emergency aid, military cooperation and more sanctions in a meeting in Brussels on Monday.

A decision on further sanctions “is going to dominate and it’s not going to be easy,’’ an EU diplomat said.

The diplomat said this ahead of the meeting, with the divisive question of a ban on Russian energy imports still unresolved.

The meeting came ahead of an intensive week of talks between Western allies over Ukraine, with an EU and NATO summits and G7 talks all planned for later in the week.

Meanwhile, the fighting has shown no sign of abating, three and a half weeks after the start of Russia’s invasion.

Poland and the Baltics are pushing for tougher sanctions including an EU ban on Russian oil and gas imports.

Germany, which was heavily dependent on Russian gas, and some other EU member states were, however, resisting.

Warsaw also wanted more emphasis on NATO in a common defence strategy to be discussed on Monday in light of the invasion, EU diplomats said.

The policy proposal, in development long before the war in Ukraine, aims to enhance military cooperation in the bloc with plans for joint forces to respond quickly to the outbreak of crises.

Ukraine’s Defence Minister, Oleksiy Reznikov, is to brief the EU ministers on the current situation in the conflict.

Moldova’s deputy prime minister and Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu also attended the meeting.


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