The Italian side insisted Wednesday that the EU did not approve “automatically” to extend for six months sanctions against Russia, which expire on 31 December and instead held a discussion of this question. Thus, the question of extension of sanctions was removed from the agenda and will be considered either at a meeting of EU foreign Ministers on Monday, 14 December, either during the EU summit, which will take place 17-18 December, reports Agency ANSA , citing diplomatic sources in Brussels.
According to the source, Italy informed the EU presidency of Luxembourg, which is opposed to automatic renewal linked to the Ukraine crisis, restrictive measures and insists on the discussion of this issue. It is reported that in this regard Luxembourg party withdrew from the agenda the question of automatic renewal of sanctions. Now we have to determine at what level and when will be discussed in this topic.
Earlier, the European diplomat in the EU institutions announced that the Committee of permanent representatives (Coreper) of member States of the EU are not endorsed Wednesday, as expected, the proposal to extend the restrictive measures against Russia in connection with the Ukrainian situation. “The question was postponed. Explanations from Coreper didn’t arrive”, – said the interlocutor of journalists.
The sanctions imposed by the EU in response to Russian policy towards Ukraine, require their renewal that they continue to remain in force. Us sanctions apply in perpetuity until terminated by the White house, reminds RBC.
In Germany also there are politicians advocating for the phasing out of sanctions. So, the Chairman of the Eastern Committee of German economy Eckhard Cordes calls for “debate about early exit penalties”. “The rule of policy, of course, is undeniable, he said in an interview with Handelsblatt in November. But we see that so far sanctions have failed to resolve political problems. Moreover, in the sanctions the gaps and many countries simply do not observe them.”
According to Cordes, Europe and Russia “are connected with each other strategically,” and the effects of sanctions have left a deep mark in the German economy. “The volume of trade between Germany and Russia will decrease by the end of this year, presumably by half compared with previous years”, – said the interlocutor of the edition.
It is noteworthy that after the negotiations between presidents of Russia and France, held in late November, reports emerged that Vladimir Putin and Francois Hollande, in particular, discussed the possibility of abolition of the EU sanctions against Russia. After that in the Kremlin, stressedthat the theme of black lists was not affected.
On the eve of Hollande visit to Moscow the largest French opposition party “the Republicans” urged the leader of the country to cancel sanctions against Russia. “I think if we create a broad coalition, it would hardly be correct to start the exchange of military information, intelligence information at the highest level and thus refuse to export agricultural products to Russia”, – said the Chairman of the parliamentary group of “Republicans” in the National Assembly, Christian Jacob.
The head “Rosnano” Anatoly Chubais saidthat not waiting for the abolition of the Western sanctions against Russia in 2016. “I think it’s a longer process,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the conference of the UN on climate change in Paris.
Recently, a former co-owner of Yukos Mikhail Khodorkovsky made the possibility of easing sanctions against Russia as Western leaders are under pressure from the business and not ready “for long-term goals to sacrifice short-term political results”.
According to him, the Russian President also wished to restore relations with Western countries, spoiled because of the situation in Ukraine, but its terms, which “provides a section of zones of influence and the decision of the fate of the world at the same table with the American President Barack Obama.” Khodorkovsky also suggested that “Western politicians and the majority would restore for a number of reasons, including for reasons of influence on their business.”
Previously, the Agency Reuters citing a senior European diplomat said that the leaders of Western countries on the sidelines of the G20 summit held on 15 and 16 November in Antalya, Turkey agreed to extend sanctions against Russia until July 2016, despite the strengthening of Russia’s interaction with Europe and the U.S. in fighting terrorists in the middle East.
The official decision on the extension of EU sanctions is likely to be adopted at the EU summit on 18 December.
In March 2015 at the EU summit had taken a decision to maintain restrictive measures against the Russian Federation until then, until it is fully implemented the peace plan in Ukraine. In June, among the 28 member States of the EU had reached a consensus on the issue of extending sanctions. The project to extend sanctions against Russia until 31 January 2016 “in order to fulfil the Minsk agreements” was adopted on June 22.
In early October, the EU partially eased the sanctions against Russia, allowing the delivery of Russian rocket fuel. From the application of the restrictions were removed with hydrazine and its derivatives necessary to fuel rockets used in space programmes of European countries.
Sanctions in the energy, defense and financial sectors were introduced in July 2014 for a period of one year in response to the annexation of Crimea to Russia and Moscow’s support of separatists in the Southeast of Ukraine. These EU measures involve restrictions on financing of major Russian banks, prohibit the export of high-tech equipment in the field of energy, as well as the sale of weapons and some types of civilian goods for military use.
Additional black list refers to the freezing of assets and ban on entry in EU States for more than 150 people and about 37 companies and organizations, which in the EU is accused of destabilizing the situation in Ukraine.
In September 2015, the EU extended these restrictive measures for six months. Sanctions, the term of which expired September 15, will be valid until 15 March 2016.
In response to further EU sanctions Russia imposed in August 2014 the economic embargo on some products from countries – members of EU, USA, Australia, Canada and Norway.