NewsWorldUkraine, negotiations on EU sanctions ahead

Ukraine, negotiations on EU sanctions ahead

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The negotiations on the sixth EU package of sanctions against Russia for the war in Ukraine “continue in the Council”, so “for now there is no news”. And, in the absence of decisive developments over the weekend, the ball will pass to the foreign ministers, who will meet next Monday in Brussels in a long-scheduled Council. The gradual embargo on oil imports is still blocked by Hungary, which is asking for compensation and extensions. The discussions are now taking place at the level of leaders and capitals, explain diplomatic sources in Brussels, so much so that Coreper has not addressed the issue today. Next Monday the Foreign Affairs Council will meet and, in the absence of progress over the weekend, the stranded package will land on the table of ministers, who will try to untie the knots. “The work continues – said High Representative Josep Borrell in Weissenhaus, Germany, on the sidelines of the G7 ministerial meeting – the Foreign Affairs Council will talk about it on Monday: I will give a new political impetus for an agreement. I’m sure we will have it. : we need an agreement and we will have it, because we must free ourselves from dependence on Russian oil “.” We must understand – continued Borrell – the specific circumstances of each country. If there is no agreement at the level of ambassadors, on Monday the ministers will have to give a political impulse, and I will take care of it “. Even a senior EU official, ahead of the meeting, is optimistic: “It will end with unity and something positive. And each Member State will reflect its main concerns” in the package that will be approved at the end of the negotiations. “There will be an agreement and there will be unity” between the 27, he assures him. However, Hungary continues to block the sixth package, so much so that some observers believe that one of the objectives, in addition to discouraging the adoption of a seventh package banning the import of gas from Russia, is to obtain the unblocking from the Commission of the Hungarian Pnrr, stopped from May 2021, or obtain equivalent pecuniary compensation. To the point that alternative hypotheses emerge. The first, the adoption of national sanctions at 26, leaving Hungary alone, is definitely excluded by another EU official: “The coalition of the willing is not a concept” which has EU citizenship, but belongs “to other institutions “, He says. Instead, a couple of countries have proposed the ‘unpacking’ of the package: that is, in the meantime, sanctions that are not controversial are being adopted (extension of the list of sanctions, disconnection from Swift of Sberbank and other banks, banning of three Russian issuers and some sectoral measures) and then we continue to deal with oil. For now it’s an option that isn’t on the table, according to a diplomatic source. But another source admits that this is a possibility, albeit as a last resort. “We will seek unity as much as possible – he says – the negotiations are underway every day and I don’t know where they will lead. Of course, there is always the possibility to unpack. Or to take a little more time to keep the package all together. “. Also because, it is the basic reasoning that is heard in Brussels, after all, the embargo on crude oil would take effect in six months and that on refined products only at the end of the year. Therefore, there are no compelling reasons, apart from those of image (which are anything but secondary: by now the package has been blocked for ten days), which force the sanctions to be approved immediately. Provided the effective date does not move forward.

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