Sanctions imposed on Russia must ensure that the country “feels pain”: the EU Minister of Ireland

European Union sanctions imposed on Russia must ensure that the country “feels pain”, Ireland’s EU Minister for EU Thomas Byrne said on February 22.

“We need to make sure that whatever happens, Russia will certainly feel pain … and it will happen,” Burn said. I told reporters.. “What happened today is a grotesque violation of international law, which is a grotesque violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty.”

Byrne’s comments repeatedly warned that the EU was ready to impose “massive consequences” on Moscow’s economy if Russia invaded Ukraine, but potential geopolitical implications, especially the EU’s closeness. So far no such sanctions have been initiated due to the energy and trade relations with Russia.

Russia is the EU’s fifth-largest trading partner, with imports of $ 177.9 billion and exports of $ 104.1 billion, according to Eurostat.pdf).

According to Eurostat, many EU countries, such as Germany and the Czech Republic, are also highly dependent on Russia’s natural gas, and Russia continued to be the largest supplier of natural gas and oil to the EU in 2021.

However, in a brief statement on Monday, President Charles Michel of the European Council and Chairman Ursula von der Leyen of the European Commission said, “The Russian President’s state of Donetsk in Ukraine as an independent organization. Luhansk Oblast. “

“This step is a blatant breach of international law and the Minsk agreement. The union responds to sanctions against those involved in this illegal activity.”

The statement was issued after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he would recognize the independent sovereignty of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine.

Two regions of Ukraine’s Donbas region are managed by a Russian-backed separatist group. Putin also signed a decree permitting Russian troops to be sent to the region for so-called “peacekeeping operations.”

Russia has gathered up to 190,000 troops and heavy weapons near the Ukrainian border, but has denied plans to invade Ukraine.

France’s finance minister Bruno Le Maire told Bloomberg Television on Monday that he is ready to impose sanctions on Russia if the EU invades Ukraine, leaving hopes for a diplomatic solution to the crisis. He added that he was.

The EU’s ready-to-start sanctions “will have a profound impact on Russia, the Russian economy, and Russia’s interests,” Le Mer said.

“One point must be very clear. Even if there is an attack from Russia on Ukraine, there is a series of sanctions that will hurt the economic interests of the Russian people, the Russian state and Russia.” He said.

However, other EU member states have warned against imposing strong sanctions on energy imports.

Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi imports 90% of gas demand, and Russia is a major supplier, saying at a press conference in Rome: , They should concentrate on a small sector without energy. “

Meanwhile, the United States announced sanctions on conflict areas in Ukraine on Monday.

The White House issued a statement that it “anticipated” such a move from Putin and announced immediate sanctions on two regions of Ukraine through a presidential directive from President Joe Biden, who will sign on Tuesday. did.

“President Biden will soon be new to the so-called DNR and LNR regions of Ukraine, or to the so-called DNR and LNR regions of Ukraine, or by Americans in that region,” White House spokesman Jen Psaki said in a statement. Issuing a presidential order banning investment, trade, and financing. ” ..

“This EO also empowers those who decide to work in these parts of Ukraine to impose sanctions … and will soon announce additional measures related to today’s explicit breach of Russia’s international commitments. I will do it, “said the statement.

Catabella Roberts


Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She focuses primarily on the United States and covers the news and business of The Epoch Times.

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