Flag of the European Union. Illustrative photo.
Brussels – The countries of the European Union disagreed again today on how to prevent the circumvention of anti-Russian sanctions, which is helping the Russian regime to continue the war in Ukraine. The ambassadors of the EU states did not find an agreement on the eleventh set of sanctions, which should contain, in particular, measures against the circumvention of the sanctions adopted so far. According to a ČTK diplomatic source, it is likely that negotiations will continue next week after today's disagreements.
Since the beginning of May, the European bloc has been negotiating a new series of sanctions for Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which is mainly intended to close the gaps in the sanctions adopted so far and make it impossible to circumvent them. The EU wants to prevent the export of military technologies and other sensitive goods to Russia via third countries. The Union is also bothered by the fact that Russia gets its raw materials to Europe with the help of other countries, thereby obtaining money to finance the war. However, the EU states are still not united on whether to threaten sanctions directly against countries that enable this circumvention of sanctions, or rather on companies that participate in it.
Ambassadors tried to bridge these differences today, but many states still have objections due to possible diplomatic disputes involving third countries. Proponents of a more forceful approach towards non-EU states include Poland and the Baltic countries, while Germany in particular advocates a more cautious stance. Hungary and Greece, on the other hand, have previously expressed their disapproval of the fact that their companies appeared on the Ukrainian list of war sponsors. The latter is not directly related to the sanctions package, but it has become the subject of negotiations by diplomats.
The European Group of 27 is trying to coordinate the adoption of anti-Russian sanctions with the United States and Britain. While Washington and London announced approval of a new set of sanctions last week ahead of the G7 summit, diplomats say the union is unlikely to achieve the unity it needs this week due to a number of lingering disagreements. The ambassadors will probably not meet again until next week because of the sanctions.