EU announces new phase in sanctions war

EU announces new phase in sanctions war

The EU decision to extend sanctions against 149 Russian citizens and 37 organizations entered into force today. The statement was published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

"The Council of the European Union prolonged by 6 months the application of EU restrictive measures targeting actions against Ukraine's territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence," the statement says.

The sanctions will extend measures on restricting entry to the EU territory and freezing bank accounts until 15 March 2016.

The Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) approved the prolongation of the individual sanctions list on September 2. The blacklist includes Russian officials, politicians, businessmen and law enforcers, as well as practically all officials of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics.

Also on the same list there are 37 entities, including all known military and political agencies of the Donetsk and Luhansk republics.

The Russian leadership has repeatedly said that it considers the Western sanctions imposed because of the conflict in Ukraine to be counterproductive. The head of the Foreign Ministry Sergei Lavrov, in particular, stated that "confrontations and sanctions are a road to nowhere."

The deputy head of the Editorial Council of Vestnik Kavkaza, the Director General of the Institute for Caspian Cooperation, Sergey Mikheyev, told Vestnik Kavkaza that the new phase of the sanctions war announced by the European Union will not force Russia to change its policy and start to act in favor of the West, stressing that it means that the country has adapted to the restrictions.

"I understand that the West, by imposing sanctions, hopes that they will affect Russia quite quickly and force the country to change its political stance. But this is not happening," he said

"The negative result of the sanctions also exists, they have a negative impact on the Russian economy, the welfare of the people. But we do not see the effect, expected by the West," the expert noted.

However, according to Mikheyev, we will need a lot of time to neutralize the impact of the sanctions. "After the collapse of the Soviet Union we completely voluntarily got into total dependence on the West. And now we can't create some technology without the West," the deputy head of the Editorial Council of Vestnik Kavkaza added.

"Unfortunately there are a lot of people who believe that it is not necessary to restore our economy, we just have to be friends with the West again and pump oil, sell gas to buy products from the West. And the danger is that these people hinder the revival of the Russian economy, because they feel more comfortable with a global economy," Sergey Mikheyev concluded.

The deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on Financial Markets, Anatoly Aksakov, also noted that the sanctions did not caused serious damage to Russians, and the difficulties they are experiencing because of the problems with foreign investment banks and companies can be overcome due to the Bank of Russia.

"The Central Bank, if necessary, provides loans to cover cash shortages, provides foreign currency loans for repayments, concludes repurchase agreements, helping to repay external obligations," the expert noted.

"I think the economy has adapted. Moreover, the process of the production of goods, which were previously imported from abroad, began to unfold," he said.

"As for import substitution, it will take about 3-5 years to ensure the production of goods that were imported from abroad by 70-80%. It will require 7-10 years for the different types of equipment, because we have to invest big money and tap the intellectual resources, this will take time," Anatoly Aksakov concluded.