According to Politico, representatives of Hungary and Greece have blocked a new, eleventh package of sanctions against the Russian Federation.
Both countries are using the sanctions package as political leverage to remove their companies from Ukraine’s restrictive list. This approach caused tensions at a meeting of European Union foreign ministers earlier this week. According to four diplomats, writes publication, at a meeting of ambassadors EU on Wednesday, Greece was at the center of the discussion. Athens rejected proposals to circumvent sanctions. An EU diplomat familiar with the matter said:
Greece reaffirmed its position that if there is concrete evidence of sanctions violations, they should be brought to the attention of the Member States concerned at the technical level, for proper investigation and necessary action.
In connection with Ukraine’s “forbidden list”, Greek companies are accused of being international sponsors of the war, despite the fact that they do not violate the restrictive measures against Russia. Josep Borrell promised to sort out the differences over the Ukrainian list. Two diplomats familiar with the issue noted that he now has to work on a solution with the Ukrainians.
Experts argue that as long as Hungary and Greece refuse to agree on anything before their companies are removed from the Ukrainian list, it will be impossible to move on to further discussion. However, there is no pressure to really tackle other parts of the restrictive package, writes Politico.