MEPs and representatives of Ukraine call for oil embargo and wider sanctions –

So far, EU sanctions have failed to deter Russia, according to Reuters. This was stated by MEPs from the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday (April 20th). They called on the EU and member states to impose an immediate oil embargo on Russia and to support Ukraine with financial assistance.

European lawmakers have questioned the effectiveness of European sanctions imposed on Russia following the invasion of Ukraine that began on February 24.

“The last five packages [de sanctions] did not work “said MEP Witold Jan Waszczykowski (Group of European Conservatives and Reformists), chairman of the European Parliament’s committee responsible for liaising with Ukrainian lawmakers.

According to him, the need for a sixth set of sanctions “It means our policy is not enough to stop and prevent Russian aggression”.

The EU diplomatic service, the European External Action Service (EEAS), however, maintains that the sanctions applied so far have had a negative impact on the Russian economy.

“We believe that sanctions work even if it takes time to produce their real effect, and we believe that these measures have significantly increased the cost of Russia’s aggression.”the deputy director of the EEAS, Luc Devigne, declared before the parliamentarians.

However, high energy prices and continued purchases of Russian gas and oil during the first quarter of 2022 brought Russia the highest current account surplus in recent history, according to data from the Central Bank of Russia. were made public last week.

Separately, several MEPs expressed concern about Moscow’s ability to circumvent sanctions through partnerships with third countries, especially China.

“China is clearly on the Russian side in this conflict”Greens MEP François Alfonsi said, calling for a new mechanism for co-operation with the United Kingdom, the United States and Japan to detect possible Chinese attempts to circumvent Western sanctions.

Compensation for EU Member States

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Sunday that the EU executive was exploring ways to approach Russian banks, including Sberbank, as well as oil in the coming sanctions.

However, the oil embargo would have a detrimental impact on the economies of Member States that are heavily dependent on Russia for their imports, such as Germany and Italy in particular.

To limit this impact, MEPs from the Renew Europe group have asked the Commission and the EEAS for compensation measures to support these EU Member States.

If they greeted him “ambitious plan” to impose an oil embargo, Ukrainian representatives invited to the debate called on the EU to focus on other forms of sanctions as well, such as roaming sanctions and cyber sanctions.

Prohibit Russian cultural institutions

In addition, culture should be included in the sanctions regime, said Olena Khomenko, chair of the subcommittee on foreign economic relations and effective use of international aid from the Verkhovna Rada, the parliament of Ukraine.

“We must close and ban Russian-affiliated institutions, such as the network of Russian science and culture centers, because cultural ties and cultural connections are also a form of weapon used by Russia.”

Ms. Khomenko warned no “Attempts by the Russian side to organize more cultural events” trying to spread misinformation and propaganda and called on EU states to continue with measures of diplomatic isolation.

“It is important to impose individual sanctions on all those who are linked and are part of Putin’s strategy to wipe out Ukraine.”told EURACTIV.

Give Russian assets to Ukraine

Ms Khomenko also called for more financial assistance from her country.

“We need a fund for the reconstruction of Ukraine. We need to rebuild all those hospitals, kindergartens and schools that were destroyed.”she said.

To support the reconstruction of the war-torn country, some MEPs have called on the EU to confiscate Russian assets instead of freezing them.

“We do not give hope to the Russian oligarchs, but also to the Russian state, that there will be a time when they can recover them.”Socialist and Democrat MEP Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz explained.

How Russia can avoid a sovereign default

The Russian government has enough funds to avoid defaulting on sovereign debt. However, it is not certain that Moscow has much interest in preventing this defect.

János Ammann contributed to this article.

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