EU in discord over sanctions on Russia fearing the outcomes
The EU countries have a very difficult decision to make on sanctions against Russia, especially since some countries might be greatly affected by the consequences.
EU countries seem to disagree over the kind of sanctions they would impose against Russia, as this may lead to political and economic consequences for different countries, the UK broadcaster Sky News reported on Tuesday, citing sources.
On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed decrees recognizing the independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics, saying it should have happened a long time ago. The European Union has consequently vowed "significant" sanctions on Russia.
As per the broadcaster, Italy fears the sanctions could hamper its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, while Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban does not want a deterioration in his ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The broadcaster added that Cyprus also fears strict sanctions against Russia as it may affect tourism.
According to Sky News, banks in Austria, Italy, and France appear to be the most to be affected by the consequences of financial sanctions imposed on Russia.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said earlier today that the EU sanctions against Russia will apply to 351 lawmakers of the Parliament’s Lower House, the State Duma, adding that if the conflict escalates, the EU will impose more sanctions.
Following an informal meeting of EU top diplomats, he said, "Today we have agreed that the 351 members of the Russian State Duma who voted for these violations of the international law and territorial integrity and sovereignty or Ukraine will be listed in our sanctions," adding that the sanctions will also target 27 individuals and legal entities.
EU ministers met earlier today to discuss "what sanctions to impose" on Russia in response to Putin's decision to recognize the sovereignty of the two republics, Donetsk and Lugansk, in southeast Ukraine.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that the United Kingdom will impose "immediate" economic penalties on Russia, warning that President Vladimir Putin is planning an alleged "full-scale invasion of Ukraine."
Johnson claimed that Putin had "completely torn up international law," and that British sanctions should target "Russian economic interests as hard as we can," not only the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian also slammed Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision to recognize the republics in Ukraine.
He called the recognition a violation of international law and the Minsk peace accord with Ukraine.
Ukraine's UN envoy has demanded that Russia revoke its recognition of territories in the east, withdraw its "occupation troops" dispatched there by President Vladimir Putin, and resume talks.
Sergiy Kyslytsya told a UN Security Council emergency meeting on Monday that Ukraine convened the rare nighttime session to protest and denounce Putin's "illegal and illegitimate" recognition of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, which he said violated Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Russia’s recent decision to recognize DPR and LPR followed a deterioration of the situation on the line of contact between Ukraine and the breakaway republics. Russia has repeatedly denied any intention of invading Ukraine, but nevertheless, the West continued to militarize Ukraine, which in its turn, bombed the DPR and LPR over the past few days causing civilian and military casualties, without Russia even moving an inch.