Back in December, the European Union (EU) voted to once again follow in lock-step with their U.S. masters by extending sanctions against Russia for another seven months through July of 2016. But as the global economy continues its perilous decline in nearly every industrial region, some members of the EU appear to have had enough, and are either bypassing sanctions altogether to establish new business deals with Russia, or are calling for a real debate in which the union no longer extends the sanctions simply because they expired.
In fact, after the first year of sanctions by the EU in support of Washington’s gambit towards Putin, tensions between business leaders and political leaders have helped create a schism that threatens to change the political landscape of several individual states because much of Europe is reliant upon trade with Russia, with sanctions having proved relatively impotent in their intended purpose to force Russia to capitulate over Ukraine.
While the European Union approved the extension of sanctions against Russian and Ukrainian individuals, there is no unity on automatically prolonging economic sanctions due to expire on July 31 this year.
“We cannot take for granted any decision at this stage,” said Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni after a meeting with his EU counterparts in Brussels.
Italy’s view was supported by the Hungarian foreign minister.
“You cannot decide on sanctions by sweeping the issues under the carpet. We believe that the question of sanctions should be decided at the highest level. It cannot be automatic,” said Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto. – Russia Today
The European Union estimates that business and agricultural losses because of the sanctions against Russia stand between $11 and $55 billion, with a Russian backed study putting the losses as high as $180 billion. And the effects of this lost revenue are being seen all across Europe with farmers in France staging massive protests, and dairy businesses in Sweden having to shut down.
In the end, sanctions by the EU against Russia have not only failed, but have changed the entire landscape of trade between the Eurasian power and Europe. This is because Russia was easily able to supplement necessary imports by going to nations not tied to the U.S. mandate, and to also expand their partnerships with China for both energy and industry. And these results are now leading Europe to experience cracks in their coalition, where more and more countries are speaking out to call for an end of simply walking lock-step with Washington and in their attempts to propagate a new cold war against Russia.
Kenneth Schortgen Jr is a writer for Secretsofthefed.com, Examiner.com,Roguemoney.net, and To the Death Media, and hosts the popular web blog, The Daily Economist. Ken can also be heard Wednesday afternoons giving an weekly economic report on the Angel Clark radio show.