Kyiv skeptical of EU’s plans to ease sanction pressure on Moscow

2 March, 11:56 PM
Flags of the EU and Ukraine (Photo:Dusan_Cvetanovic)

Flags of the EU and Ukraine (Photo:Dusan_Cvetanovic)

After adopting its 10th package of sanctions against Russia, the EU signaled that it will now focus on closing loopholes in existing sanctions – as opposed to introducing new restrictions, Politico reported on March 1.

According to the newly-appointed EU Special Envoy on Sanctions Implementation, David O'Sullivan, the next steps will be to prevent third countries from circumventing anti-Russian sanctions.

The official noted that after the adoption of the 10th package of sanctions, the European Commission plans to shift its focus to ensuring compliance with existing restrictions.

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O'Sullivan said that he was already in talks with those countries that could potentially use the Russian government as a platform to circumvent sanctions and announced a joint visit to the UAE with his colleagues from the United States and the UK.

According to the official, many of the sanctions loopholes for Russia were created by Europe itself. He mentioned special compromises on sanctions by Hungary and Slovakia, which were allowed to buy Russian oil for further refining. Currently, not all EU diplomats agree to make such concessions, as it creates unequal conditions for the bloc’s members, he said.

"We will look at what can and needs to be done — also to preserve the level playing field within the European Union," O'Sullivan added.

Commenting on the statements made by the new EU envoy, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleh Nikolenko noted that the 10th sanctions package did not include a number of other elements that Ukraine had insisted on: nuclear energy, including further restrictions on the activities of Rosatom Corporation, which is involved in the occupation of the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant, IT, diamond sales, and maritime logistics.

 "The reality is that Russia still has access to huge financial and technological resources," Nikolenko stressed.

“And this means hundreds of millions of dollars that it uses to kill civilians and destroy infrastructure in Ukraine. Therefore, it is not the right time to ease sanctions pressure while the war in the heart of Europe continues.”

He added that Ukraine also supports the expansion of the “sanction coalition,” in particular by involving Asian and Latin American countries.

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