EU thinking about pre-Trump sanctions on Russia
Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 21
Europe’s shaky resolve over extending economic sanctions against Russia, combined with a US president-elect weighing warmer ties with the Kremlin, should spell the end of the penalties tied to Russian encroachment in Ukraine, right? Wrong, say European Union insiders, Bloomberg reported Nov. 21.
The future of the bloc’s sanctions against Russia will hang over an EU-Ukraine summit in Brussels on Nov. 24 as Donald Trump makes inroads with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, and puts in place a new American foreign-policy team.
With the penalties due to expire on Jan. 31, EU governments are likely to prolong the measures for another six months because the main condition set for lifting them – full respect of a pact aimed at ending the Ukrainian war – has yet to be met, according to five European officials who are familiar with the confidential deliberations and who spoke on the condition of anonymity. A sixth official went as far as to exclude any other scenario.
Since Putin annexed the Ukrainian region of Crimea in March 2014 and lent support to rebels in eastern Ukraine, the EU has imposed a package of penalties that include a ban on share or bond sales by state-owned Russian businesses such as Sberbank PJSC and curbs on technologies for the energy and arms industries in Russia.