The tenth package is approved after a week of useless meetings
Ursula von der Leyen had promised the Ukrainian president that on the anniversary of the invasion he would have the highest sanctions against Russia. And until the agreement has been finalized, a week of sterile meetings has passed. Finally, a couple of hours before the end of the day, the deal was announced.
The negotiation process has caused some perplexity in the community institutions. The semi-annual presidency, Sweden, announced the agreement this Friday at ten o’clock at night.
The main obstacle was posed by Poland, which decided to block the entire package simply because it considered that the restrictions on EU imports of Russian synthetic rubber maintained such a large exempt quota that they would have no effect in practice. This position of Poland, one of the “hawks” in the policy towards Russia, puzzled other countries who believe that it is not a good sign that new sanctions were not announced on the first anniversary of Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
The European Commission had prepared this tenth round of sanctions against Russia with the idea of making it more difficult to finance the war and depriving Russia of technology and spare parts for weapons used against Ukraine. More people are added to the list of those barred from entering the EU, including those the West says are propagandists for Russian aggression, those Ukraine holds responsible for deporting Ukrainian children to Russia, and those involved in drone production. Iranians deployed at the front. Two banks (Alfa-Bank and Tinkoff) are also added to the list of those excluded from the Swift system, which prevents them from making international transactions, which is expected to reduce the Kremlin’s income by an additional 10 billion.
In the early afternoon of this Friday, the Polish ambassador Andrzej Sados presented a compromise formula for the issue of synthetic rubber, since all other aspects were approved. However, this aroused the discontent of Italy, which said that Poland should accept what the 26 remaining governments had already agreed to. The issue was pending the return to Warsaw of the Polish Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, who was in Ukraine delivering battle tanks donated to the Ukrainian Army, so the talks were suspended.
The sanctions need the consensus of the 27 member countries and according to diplomatic sources, the symbolic element of having approved the sanctions on the anniversary of the invasion was already ruled out. However, an approval period could be opened by written procedure, which would not require further meetings.