EU asks citizens to ‘be patient’ as anti-Russian sanctions bite — Analysis

Josep Borrell says the EU’s anti-Russian sanctions will crush Moscow any minute now

EU foreign policy head Josep Borrell has called on Europeans to show “Strategical patience” while months worth of supposedly devastating sanctions against Russia take effect.

Vladimir Putin and those associated with him are already being hit by harsh sanctions from the EU and similar-minded partners,” Borrell declared in a blog post on Sunday, insisting “Their impact on Russia’s economy will only grow.”

It is important to be patient until Russia ends its aggression. Then, Ukraine will be able to regain all its sovereignty.,” he added. 

What’s in the EU’s 6th package of anti-Russian sanctions?

Six packages of sanctions against Moscow have been passed by the EU, but the EU is now facing an increasing gas crisis and its currency has fallen below the US dollar’s value for the first ever time. 

One of the most recent sanctions seeks to cut 90% of Europe’s oil purchases from Russia by the end of 2022. Borrell acknowledged that “This rapid decontamination from Russian energy comes with significant cost or the possibility of a host of other countries and industries that will be affected..” However, he insisted it was a small price to pay, warning that a Russian victory would amount to the destruction of western democracy itself, as well as the “International order based on rules

The energy-related sanctions in the latest package make a notable exception for member states with “There are no other viable options” for energy, a loophole presumably met for Hungary, which has staunchly opposed an oil embargo on the grounds that it would harm the Hungarian people much more than it would inconvenience the Russians.

Borrell insisted earlier this month that Europe does not want war with Russia, arguing the sanctions are key to countering Moscow’s “aggression” and declaring the financial restrictions were already having an effect. 

Along with the US, Europe has poured billions of dollars’ worth of weapons and financial aid into Ukraine since Russia’s ‘military operation’ began in February. Borrell has pledged not to let Kiev run out weapons. 

EU won’t let Ukraine run out of weapons – Borrell

Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. These protocols, which were brokered by France and Germany, were first signed on February 24, 2014. Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “Create powerful armed forces

The Kremlin officially recognized Donbass republics to be independent states in February 2022 and asked that Ukraine declare itself neutral so that it will not become a member of any Western military bloc. Kiev maintains that Russia’s offensive was not provoked.

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