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Germany Divided Over EU's New Sanctions Plan Against Russia

14.06.2024 16:57

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock says talks continue on sanction package against Moscow, and she cannot predict outcome right now.

The German government is divided over new sanctions against Russia planned by the European Union, media reports said on Friday.

The Foreign Ministry views the Chancellery's reservations about the sanctions package as problematic and damaging to its image as Germany was feeling recently isolated on this issue, the German Press Agency (dpa) reported.

Before new talks in Brussels on Friday, the Foreign Ministry said the country's top diplomat Annalena Baerbock had worked intensively over the past two years to restore lost trust among her European partners due to the old Russia policy, adding that this trust must not be lost again.

When asked about the dpa report, Baerbock said during a press conference of the Council of Baltic Sea States in the Finnish city of Provoo, "We have to work full steam, so to speak, all out on this issue, to ensure that as far the various elements of the sanction package are concerned, as Belarus is concerned, we reached a common approach.

"You know that talks are ongoing on some of those sanctions issues and therefore I cannot say more now about the outcome of that discussion."

It had previously become known that Germany's permanent representative to the EU did not have permission from Berlin to agree to the EU's next package of sanctions against Russia until recently.

According to diplomats in Brussels, German concerns and requests for changes were a key reason why the negotiations have not yet been concluded.

It recently felt as if Germany had become the new Hungary, the news agency reported, citing an unnamed EU official, referring to previously delayed decisions on Russia sanctions by Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government.

The planned new EU punitive measures are primarily intended to combat the circumvention of existing sanctions. This means, for example, that Russia's arms industry can continue to use Western technology to produce weapons for the war against Ukraine.

It is also planned to impose tough EU sanctions on Russia's billion-dollar liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry for the first time.

According to EU diplomats, German reservations about the plans relate primarily to measures intended to make it more difficult to circumvent EU sanctions.

Accordingly, Berlin demanded, among other things, that companies should not be obliged to ensure that trading partners comply with EU sanctions rules.​​​​​​​ -

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