Factor trump is not played: the analyst commented on the extension of EU sanctions

© AFP 2017 / Philippe Mediawhat in the building of the European Commission in Brussels. Archival photoFactor trump is not played: the analyst commented on the extension of EU sanctions© 2017 AFP / Philippe Huguen

The extension of European Union sanctions reflects the consensus in Brussels is to decide what to do next in the relationship with Russia is to preserve the status quo or to mitigate the sanctions regime, said the head of Department of European security, Institute of Europe, Professor at MGIMO-University Dmitry Danilov.

The EU Council on Thursday adopted a decision to extend economic sanctions against Russia, which had previously been agreed by leaders. The package of economic sanctions expired at the end of January 2018. Initially, the EU imposed restrictive economic measures against Russia in the summer of 2014 on the background of the conflict in Ukraine and later expanded them. The leaders of the countries-EU members in March 2015 tied their action to the full implementation of the Minsk agreements.

Factor trump is not played

As noted by Danilov, the situation in relations between Russia and Europe in the context of sanctions in the current year remained at the same place, the policy of Brussels while there is a «rut». In particular, remains unchanged the position of the EU on the Association of the withdrawal of sanctions with the implementation of the Minsk agreements despite the fact that progress in the Ukrainian settlement in the current year was observed.»That is, in terms of sanctions of the European business to adapt to still fight their way to Russia. But this situation can not suit the state leadership of the leading Western countries in principle, as it does not reflect the economic strategy and trend breaking (business) unfavourable market conditions. Therefore, there is a serious dissonance between the business interests and the interests formulated at the level of States and European institutions», — said Danilov.

Will not be worse

Therefore, according to him, manifested the position of individual EU member States who Express the need to consider the fate of the sanctions regime. There are countries-hawks that require a further tightening of sanctions, but they have no prospects, he said.

«There are countries that are at least easing of the sanctions regime and cooperation, but this requires consensus within the EU. There are countries which strongly oppose. But they do not have a strategic perspective as the EU sanctions regime may not be tightened to the limit. In my opinion, a limit point is reached, it is now a question about how to deescalate this mode,» — said the expert.

However, despite the presence of countries in favour of easing the sanctions regime to achieve policy change, the EU will be very difficult. First and foremost, the EU is not going to change the sanctions regime, if this is not done, the United States, where now no prerequisites for this.

«European policy in any case can not be changed beyond the transatlantic relationship. Europe is in its flexibility is limited by the Atlantic framework and to act in opposition to the United States can not. In the sanctions policy it means one simple thing: even if Europe decides to mention sanctions, in practical terms, for her it will not change anything because the U.S. extraterritorial sanctions and in any case will hit the European companies working with Russia», — said Danilov.

He explained that «Europe is nothing hardly would have acquired, in this case, and would lose a lot, because going into conflict with the United States, Europe cannot afford high risks and potential losses.»

Therefore, according to him, the EU «is on the rut», while realizing that the future will still need to address the issue of easing the sanctions regime.

«It (the extension of the sanctions for six months) of the status quo, but the European Union in the sense of developing your own strategy needs to decide something for the future,» — said the expert.Factor trump is not played: the analyst commented on the extension of EU sanctions© Infografiken sanctions against Russia and retaliatory measures