Does EU change its opinion about sanctions against Russia over Syria?

Does EU change its opinion about sanctions against Russia over Syria?

None of the European Union’s member states has proposed introducing sanctions against Russia because of the Syrian crisis, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, said on Monday.

"This is not being proposed by any member state. I’ve seen this has been very much on the media but not in our meetings. In none of our meetings this issue was raised by any member states," Mogherini said.

"Today the main issue with which we will work is obviously Syria. I will propose to the ministers some ideas on why and how the European Union can support more and better the work on the future of Syria," she added.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said earlier that he doesn’t see how the potential sanctions would facilitate the aid deliveries to the Syrian people. "I am not the only one who is skeptical about sanctions in this regard," Steinmeier stated.

The deputy dean of the Faculty of Global Economics and International Affairs of the Higher School of Economics of the National Research University, Andrei Suzdaltsev, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that there are several reasons why the European Union is rejecting the idea of ​​the 'Syrian' sanctions against Russia at the level of official statements.

"Firstly, the EU has not been able to determine what sanctions could be introduced, because all those niches, where Europe could cause harm to Russia, have been filled by earlier sanctions a long time ago: the financial sector, technology and the visa regime are infringed. That is, there are simply no free spots for the Syrian sanctions," he noted in the first place.

"Secondly, it is very difficult to prove that these sanctions should be introduced: there is no arbitrator, who could say that Russia is really to blame for anything in Syria. It is extremely difficult to justify new sanctions. Thirdly, it is necessary to consider the factor that the issue of sanctions against Russia over its actions in Syria takes place in the wake of the US election campaign," Andrei Suzdaltsev continued.

"There is also the fourth thing. A year ago, Western countries took offense at Russia, which shied away from active participation in the coalition against the ISIL terrorist group - but when we joined the war in Syria, it became clear that we are doing it wrong. This is a very strange situation, when Russia was asked to take part in something, and now they threaten to impose sanctions due to it. I think that this situation will fade in a week," the deputy dean of the Faculty of Global Economics and International Affairs of the Higher School of Economics of the National Research University concluded.

The head of the Center for Strategic Development of the CIS Countries under the RAS Institute of Europe, Alexander Gusev, did not agree with the fact that Europe is trying to close the 'Syrian sanctions' issue. "Mogherini and Steinmeier are European politicians, who are quite sympathetic to Russia, therefore, it is not clear what the EU will do in the end. We are waiting for official statements by the representatives of all the EU. For now, we can only assume that Europe will abandon new sanctions, because of too complex situation in Syria. On the one hand, the negotiation process is going on, the last meeting was held a few days ago in Lausanne. On the other hand, there is an offensive in Iraq's Mosul and Syria, for example, yesterday they took control of Dabiq. Therefore, in fact, the EU is waiting," he said.

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