The 27 EU member states are examining whether new sanctions against Russia should be imposed following the “escalation” by Moscow announced on Wednesday. The High Representative for European Foreign Policy, Spaniard Josep Borrell, said this in New York on Wednesday, after an informal emergency meeting between European foreign ministers. Meanwhile, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban would like the Union to withdraw its sanctions again by the end of the year.
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On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a TV speech calling for partial mobilization and threatening the use of nuclear weapons. In response, EU High Representative Borrell decided to convene an emergency meeting with European foreign ministers in New York.
In a statement issued Thursday morning, Borrell said the EU “firmly condemns the latest escalation by Russia”. Military aid to Ukraine will continue “as long as necessary” and “in consultation with our partners, we will propose additional restrictive measures as soon as possible”, it sounds.
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At a news conference Wednesday night, Borrell said the new sanctions package will “cover new areas of the Russian economy, especially the technological one”. Additional persons will also be added to the European sanctions list. “Today we have not yet decided on the persons, the sectors and the extent (of the sanctions). The purpose of this meeting was to send a strong political signal in the first hours after Putin’s speech.”
Borrell, who will deliver his speech to the UN General Assembly on Thursday, is confident that the EU will be able to reach a unanimous agreement on what will already be the eighth sanctions package against Russia.
It remains to be seen how smoothly that decision-making process will proceed. According to the Hungarian newspaper Magyar Nemzet, Prime Minister Viktor Orban is calling for the lifting of all European sanctions against Russia before the end of the year. Those sanctions would hurt the European economy more than Russia’s, he said to MPs during a closed-door meeting. Removing the sanctions would dampen inflation and the risk of a recession, Orban said.
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