Throughout the weekend European leaders have been trying to reach an agreement on a sixth package of sanctions against Russia, which most importantly includes an embargo on Russian oil and gas. The proposal was presented to the permanent representatives of all 27 member states on Tuesday night. Since then, three meetings have been convened, but to no avail.
Three member states that have been vocally opposed to the sanctions are the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia. All three see the embargo as a massive threat to the stability of their respective economies. Hungary and Slovakia had warned earlier that the economic damage that would ensue would be too severe for their economies without more time to adapt. Bratislava says it would need at least until the end of 2025, while Budapest has called for a five-year delay.
So far the proposals being put forth offer postponements for the three countries of up to the end of 2024. However, this has been rejected by all three of the member states in question. The sanctions also include a ban on the transport of Russian old to third markets, which has led to opposition from maritime countries that profit from the transport. A new round of talks on the proposed sanctions is expected to be held either tomorrow or on Tuesday.
When presenting the proposed sanctions, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that the damage inflicted by the sanctions against Russia must not outweigh their benefit. With rampant inflation, supply chain blockages and overall instability in the global economy, it is difficult to see how the commission can achieve this goal through the ban of Russian oil and gas, on which the European economy is highly dependent.
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