Borrell urges the European Union to put an end to the circumvention of sanctions imposed on Russia


High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union Josep Borrell called on the bloc on Monday, to put an end to the circumvention of sanctions imposed on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

“We must cut the circles of circumventing sanctions, otherwise they will weaken,” Borrell told a news conference after the meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.

European Union capitals haven’t yet agreed on new punitive measures against Russia aimed at preventing the circumvention of sanctions through countries outside the bloc such as Kazakhstan, Armenia and the United Arab Emirates.

Germany and Lithuania want to send a message that violating EU sanctions will have consequences, as discussions continue about starting a new round of punitive measures against several countries and companies.

“Any circumvention of the sanctions must be prevented,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said.

She stressed, “Even if individual companies are exporting materials used to make weapons, this must have consequences”.

Hungary also threatened to block the latest round of sanctions over the inclusion of OTB Bank, Hungary’s largest bank, in the list of potential targets.

The decision to impose sanctions requires unanimity.

New sanctions have also been adopted on Iran over the regime’s suppression of anti-government demonstrations, which come after Tehran executed three other men in connection with the protests.

The European Union foreign ministers also discussed the situation in Sudan after Saudi Arabia and the United States brokered a seven-day truce between the two warring parties, which is set to start today.

Borrell warned that the truce is only useful if the agreement is implemented, otherwise it is useless.

He added that work is now underway with partners to identify mediators in the conflict.

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