Ukraine: No more EU sanctions on Russia

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The European Union (EU) should not impose additional sanctions on Russia over its military intervention in Ukraine, instead it should press for a ceasefire and start negotiations, an aide to Prime Minister Victor Orban said on Thursday.

On the sidelines of the EU summit, which decided to grant Ukraine candidate status, the Hungarian official noted that the more sanctions are imposed, the more Europe itself suffers, while Russia endures.

“Ultimately, Europe will be among the losers of the war because of the economic problems. We would suggest that we should stop the sanctions process,” Balas Orban, who is not a relative of the Hungarian prime minister, said in an interview. at the Reuters news agency.

Hungary is one of the EU countries that has adopted a more conciliatory attitude towards Russia; it has a high degree of dependence on gas and oil exported by Moscow. Russia is also building a nuclear power plant in Hungary. Budapest did not give the green light to the sixth package of sanctions on Russia, which included the progressive embargo on Russian oil, until it secured its exclusion from the negotiations.

“Right now, what we are experiencing is that the more sanctions we agree on, the worse our situation becomes. And the Russians? Yes, they are also affected, but they will live. And worse, they are moving to Ukraine,” Orban said.

Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the 27 have agreed on six packages (“bundles”) of sanctions, including a freeze on resources and a ban on entry of Russian oligarchs and officials, restrictions on exports, , the disconnection of Russian banks from the SWIFT interbank communication system and a progressive embargo on Russian oil and coal.

However, some European officials point out that Russian oligarchs will make ends meet without their yachts or holiday homes in Europe, they have already transferred liquidity resources outside European jurisdiction, and export restrictions may be bypassed by China or others.

The freezing of the Russian central bank’s foreign exchange reserves is becoming less painful thanks to the billions of dollars that Russia receives for the oil and gas that it continues to deliver to Europe, they explain. When the EU stops buying oil in 2023, Russia will be able to sell it and transport it by tanker to China or India, they added.

Others argue that sanctions have an effect, but it will take time to see their full impact on the Russian economy.

Mr Orban, however, believes the EU needs to change its tactics.

“We have reached the point where we realize that we have been implementing this strategy for four months, we have had some achievements, but if things continue like this, if we think about it logically we will see a bad outcome for Europe. So we have to look at other avenues. “A ceasefire, peace. Diplomacy. This is the solution we are proposing,” he said.

SOURCE: ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ

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