According to Politico, EU representatives couldn’t reach a consensus on a fresh set of sanctions against Russia during their meeting on Wednesday. The news outlet, citing diplomatic sources, reported that discussions will resume in the coming week.
It was revealed that ahead of the Wednesday meeting, the European Commission introduced another iteration of the sanctions proposal, but it failed to yield a unanimous agreement. Several questions remained unanswered by the end of the meeting, Politico reported.
On Thursday, Politico reported that a number of EU countries, including influential players such as Germany and France, have expressed reservations about certain elements of the proposed sanctions.
The 11th package of sanctions primarily aims to prevent the circumvention of existing sanctions and introduces a new mechanism to potentially penalize non-EU countries that facilitate sanctions evasion. Politico stated that this provision has been a contentious point for some EU members, particularly Germany, which is concerned about how the new law could impact its relations with countries like Turkey and China.
In light of these concerns, the European Commission has reportedly toned down its initial proposals, Politico stated, quoting a diplomat who described the issue as “resolvable.”
Despite this, Greece and Hungary are reportedly opposing the sanctions package as long as Ukraine categorizes several firms from these countries as “war sponsors.” Politico elaborated that both Athens and Budapest demand the removal of this designation from their companies before agreeing to the sanctions package.
The proposal will be deliberated further in the next meeting of EU ambassadors scheduled for June 14, Politico reported. As per the outlet, a diplomat optimistically mentioned, “We are getting closer.”
In May, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in Kyiv that the new sanctions would be aimed at combating the circumvention of trade restrictions already in place.
Media reports suggest that the European Union is also proposing to officially cut off Russian oil supplies to Germany and Poland.