The EU is working on the next package of anti-Russian sanctions, but there is a fear that Hungary will block the process.
Brussels has accelerated activities in this direction, seeking to adopt a new package before the February Ukraine-Ukraine summit.EU in Kyiv, reports polish agency PAP. The previous one, the ninth one, was adopted in December. Some of the countries favoring a tougher sanctions policy towards Russia were not entirely satisfied with the decisions taken, but at the end of the year the EU decided to demonstrate unity. Therefore, the dissatisfied agreed to make concessions and give up part of their demands in order to reach a consensus. Ursula von der Leyen, the head of the European Commission, hinted on Tuesday that work on the tenth package of sanctions is gaining momentum, however, without going into details:
“We will pressure the Kremlin with sanctions for as long as it takes. We will extend sanctions to those who militarily support Russia’s war, such as Belarus and Iran.”
The information, PAP notes, was confirmed by Andrzej Sadosz, Poland’s Permanent Representative to the EU:
“The work has really accelerated. Poland, in the group of like-minded countries, is now proposing further sanctions. Strengthening existing restrictions is also an ongoing process.”
The diplomat emphasizes that the reason for the acceleration is the upcoming Ukraine-EU summit, and the catalyst is the approaching anniversary of the war. However, all as one, EU diplomats are extremely reluctant to talk about the details of the new package, emphasizing the importance of the “surprise effect”, but journalists still manage to find out something:
“An attempt is being made once again to impose sanctions on the export of Russian diamonds. The cost of exporting diamonds in the Russian budget is estimated at 4.5 billion euros. This is a considerable amount.”
The new sanctions will also apply to products that the Russian military could potentially use. The sanctions lists are also planned to be expanded to include more individuals responsible for Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and war crimes. Regarding Belarus, one of the diplomats noted:
“We are talking about synchronizing Belarusian sanctions with Russian ones, especially sectoral ones, in those areas where Minsk cooperates with Moscow militarily.”
Some fear that with the adoption of new restrictions, Hungary may slow down. She has already stated that she will not agree with some of the names on the sanctions lists. As the newspaper notes, it can be expected that there will be further tensions with Budapest.
The summit of Ukraine and the European Union on February 3 will be held in Kyiv. This was announced by the Office of the President of Ukraine and officially confirmed by Sweden, the EU presidency, writes D.W.