6.2 C
Sunday, September 25, 2022

EU foreign ministers meet amid tensions over 6th sanctions package

Russia Ukraine WarEU foreign ministers meet amid tensions over 6th sanctions package

Brussels (The Times Groupe)- The European Union’s foreign affairs ministers met on Monday amid tensions over the proposed oil embargo as part of the bloc’s sixth anti-Russian sanctions package.

“Unfortunately, the whole (European) Union is at the mercy of one country, which won’t help us reach a consensus,” Lithuania’s top diplomat Gabrelius Landsbergis told reporters on his way to the meeting.

He was referring to Hungary, which has been opposing the adoption of the new sanctions package.

“Europe’s decisions over the past two and a half months as well as those being made today and in the near future will define the continent for decades to come,” Landsbergis said.

Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign policy chief, emphasized the importance of discussing and understanding the reasons of all parties, but expressed doubt that the situation would change since “positions are quite strong.”

“It is an objective fact that some member states face greater difficulty because of their dependence, landlocked location, or inability to receive tankers,” he explained.

Meanwhile, he promised to work to “present a united front against Russia.”

Peter Szijjarto, the Hungarian foreign minister, did not speak with reporters prior to the meeting, but he had explained earlier that his government is unable to afford the high fuel prices and the costs of building new infrastructure to replace Russian oil without financial assistance from the EU.

In response to Russia’s war on Ukraine, which began in February, the EU has adopted five sets of sanctions. Penalties targeted individuals, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, as well as the export of luxury goods and coal imports, as well as the exclusion of Russian and Belarusian banks from using SWIFT.

Two weeks ago, the European Commission presented its proposal for the sixth package. In addition to the ban on Russian oil imports, it has suggested the exclusion of Sberbank from SWIFT, as well as the imposition of asset freezes and travel bans on more individuals, including Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill.

EU executive body also announced plans to cut gas imports by two-thirds by the end of this year by accelerating the green transition into renewables and securing fossil fuel supply from new partners such as the US and Middle East.

Check out our other content

Check out other tags:

Most Popular Articles