May 27, 2022

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Ukraine crisis, triggered by EU and US sanctions: Markets closed to Russian debt. Berlin stops “Nord Stream 2”. London hits 5 banks

The confrontation of the 27 is between those who worry about Moscow’s ambitions in Eastern Europe and insist on radical options, such as Poland or the Baltic states, and those who instead want to favor diplomacy and keep dialogue with the Kremlin open, such as Germany, France and Italy. “This confrontation exists, but it must be mitigated by some considerations – a senior European official specifies -. Even the countries of the East know that it is necessary to have some room for maneuver.”

Willingness to take further action in the event of an escalation

Everyone here in Brussels makes it clear that further sanctions will be imposed in the event of further escalation. The question is when to act again: on the occasion of the invasion of all of Ukraine by Russian forces or on the further strengthening of the Russian presence in the eastern part of the country? “It would be a premature matter of political discretion,” the senior European official himself explained yesterday, and on this occasion, the 27-man unit respected the appointment. It is unclear whether this will be the case with the new sanctions package. Some member states are particularly vulnerable to punishment, such as Italy or Austria.

London hits 5 banks

The European Commission said it was ready to compensate the most vulnerable countries. But to what extent? Meanwhile in London, Johnson’s government decided to target five Russian banks – Rossiya, IS Bank, General Bank, Promsvyazbank and Black Sea Bank – as well as various individuals.

Berlin freezes Nord Stream 2

The Russian-German gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 was not subject to European sanctions, but Chancellor Olaf Schultz decided to suspend its entry into operation. Speaking in Berlin, the politician announced that he had frozen the certification process for the plant. The choice is a compromise that allows Germany to leave open the future of the disputed pipeline. The German establishment has always been lukewarm at the idea of ​​making the project a punitive weapon against the Kremlin, and the political adoption of the sanctions measures took place in Paris, on the occasion of a meeting of foreign ministers on the sidelines of a conference. Scheduled by time. The head of the French diplomacy said very harsh words. Citing international agreements devoted to territorial integrity in Europe, including the 1975 Helsinki Final Act or the 2014 Minsk Agreement, Jean-Yves Le Drian noted that “Vladimir Putin no longer respects Russia’s obligations.”

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