EU SANCTIONS AGAINST RUSSIA: ARE THEY EFFECTIVE?

Sanctions are an essential tool in the EU’s common foreign and security policy, through which the EU can target governments of non-EU countries with travel bans, asset freezes and restrictions on imports and exports, where it is necessary to prevent conflict or respond to massive human rights and International Law violations. The EU can implement mandatory UN sanctions or adopt autonomous sanctions or supplementary measures.  

 

Following the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the EU has taken numerous sanctions in response to Russia´s military aggression, for what it has created a package of sanctions targeting different sectors, (technology, finance, energy and transport) to remove several Russian banks from SWIFT (world´s dominant global interbank payment system) while freezing the assets and banning the transactions of the Russian´s central bank. It also prohibited, starting from 28 February, Russian aircraft and private jets from overflying EU airspace.

 

The EU harshly condemned the illegal and unfair and continue violence from Russia and offered help and support to Ukraine and its people, with no similar precedent, since, as an exception and for the first time, the EU decided to finance the purchase and deliver weapons and equipment to Ukraine, as a new tool to help a country that is under attack. Since Ukraine is not a member of NATO, an intergovernmental military alliance governed by the Washington Treaty in which the member states agreed to defend any of its members that is attacked by an external power, NATO cannot intervene in the conflict, therefore this was the way to help militarily.

 

However, even if the economic sanctions have had a significant impact on the Russian economy as a whole, they are not being effective enough to persuade Russia to change its behaviour. Sanctions are an alternative to armed force and an amazing preventive and proportional measure, but the dialogue and peace attempts are the solutions that are needed now. It is not a good idea to continue with political clashes while the war continues to drag on causing more deaths. The lives of thousands of people are in danger and they need protection with measures taken with the least possible harm to civilians in mind. 

 

The EU and the U.S. have adopted all possible sanctions at once, without waiting to see the effect it will have on Russia, the sanctions must be progressive depending on the results and the behaviour of the Russian Government. ? Will the adopted measures change the situation? If they burn all the ballots now, what will be left to persuade Putin?

 

The EU is known as the creator of peace and the path to peace-making. It has been able to transform the disaster of World War II into a more peaceful world. We hope soon for help from the EU in the creation of a peaceful agreement.

 

We condemn all kinds of violence and the illegal and illegitimate invasion of Ukraine by Russia, we stand for Ukraine and support its people, but we also want an effective and peaceful solution for them and the entire international community. 

 

[1] https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2020/652041/EPRS_STU(2020)652041_EN.pdf

 

[2] https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/es/statement_22_1441

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