The restrictions should remain in place even if they don’t have an immediate impact on Moscow, the EU’s foreign policy chief said
The EU should not lift the sanctions it imposed on Russia over the Ukraine conflict even if they don’t have an immediate effect, because they work like a “diet,” the bloc’s top diplomat Josep Borrell said on Tuesday.
Speaking at a plenary session of the European Parliament, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs commented on calls from the Western Balkans urging Brussels to remove anti-Russian restrictions, saying it’s important for the EU “To emphasize the fact that sanctions work.”
Last week, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic predicted that Europe would face a “polar” winter next year, largely due to the sanctions the EU has levied on Russia, which impact the energy sector. While Serbia is not a part of the EU, the country’s energy supply routes run through countries that are, meaning that the nation would inevitably be hurt by the restrictions.
“Lifting is not possible [sanctions]They will not be effective until their effects have been fully effected. These may not be immediately effective. It’s like going on a diet to lose weight and being upset that you haven’t lost kilos and kilos after just a couple of weeks,” the diplomat said.
According to Borrell, the sanctions “diet” must remain in place, otherwise the “kilograms you’ve already lost will be very easily put on again.”
According to the top diplomat, Russia must continue speaking with it despite the severe restrictions the EU placed on Russia in relation to its military operation in Ukraine.
“Diplomats can talk to anyone, but there will be some issues that need to be discussed with the Russian President.,” he noted.
Borrell believes that the West should talk with Russia particularly on the subject of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, which has been repeatedly shelled by Kiev’s forces, according to Moscow.
The diplomat said that the EU should discuss the facility’s safety with Russia, because there is “There is no other person to speak to” apart from Moscow on the matter.
“Certain problems cannot be dealt with without Russian involvement.,” he reiterated, citing as another example the UN- and Turkey- brokered deal to unblock Ukrainian grain exports via the Black Sea.
The anti-Russia sanctions have taken a heavy toll on the EU economy, leaving it to grapple with soaring inflation and an energy crisis largely caused by the bloc’s decision to cut itself off from Russian oil as well as the shutdown of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.