The Eigth package: the European Union has all levers to make the effect of sanctions maximum painful for the aggresor

The European Union has already begun to discuss the eighth package of sanctions against Russia. Representatives from EU member states are working on a new package that they hope to adopt soon.


“The next sanctions package started to be prepared immediately after seven package. As we remember, many Ukrainian partners and politicians were, to put it mildly, not satisfied with the harshness of the measures that were included in the seventh and demanded a tougher reaction from the European community. Our colleagues and friends from Estonia generally demanded that the eighth package of sanctions be prepared in August of this year, when it became clear that Russia is not abandoning its plans and there are attempts to hold referendums at gunpoint in the occupied territories, – emphasized Maria Golub, an expert on European integration and bilateral relations between Ukraine and the EU “ANTS”, representative of the International Center for Ukrainian Victory. – There was an appeal of the Verkhovna Rada to European partners, European states, governments and EU member states with the demand to introduce the strictest sanctions against Rosatom and to disconnect Gazprombank from SWIFT. The reaction of the European community to this was different. There are countries that demand the strongest possible response, there are those that are still debating how to correctly introduce sanctions so that they do not have a devastating impact on the European economy, which is decisive for some states. The Verkhovna Rada issued an appeal to European partners, European states, governments, and EU member states, demanding that the most severe sanctions be imposed on Rosatom and that Gazprombank be disconnected from SWIFT. The European community reacted differently to this. Some countries demand the strongest possible response, while others are still debating how to properly implement sanctions so that they do not have a devastating impact on the European economy, which is critical for some states”.

The expert hopes that the eighth package of sanctions will be very tough.

“And this will be the most effective response to the aggressor country’s actions. We expect price regulation (“price cap”) to be included in the new sanctions package, at least for oil, though this is entirely possible for gas as well. This issue is currently being discussed with EU member states. The ambassadors of the member countries have returned to their respective countries for consultations with their governments, and the European Commission is expected to finalize the entire “package” this week. We’ll see him after that,” – she claims.

Maria Golub emphasizes that the EU has significant leverage to make the impact of sanctions as painful for the aggressor as possible.

“It is important to note that, despite claims that the EU has almost exhausted its political resources for imposing tough restrictive measures, the EU still has significant leverage to make the effect of sanctions as painful as possible for the aggressor. For example, the EU’s reaction to russian visa restrictions can be tough. The Ukrainian side demands the withdrawal of tourist visas and a complete ban on russian federation citizens traveling to the Schengen zone. Furthermore, many banks in European Union countries have frozen russian assets, which should be actively confiscated and transferred to Ukraine. We will see what the discussions, particularly on these issues, lead to in the near future.”

Furthermore, the ANTS member believes that Ukraine should assist the EU in reducing its reliance on the Russian Federation.

“When we talk about an effective sanctions policy against an aggressor, we should offer our EU partners ready-made solutions that will allow us to replace the russian federation as much as possible in export, logistics, and trade chains. That is to say, the aggressor country is not simply removed from everywhere, but Ukraine can easily replace it in many areas. In this way, Europe reduces its reliance on russia while also assisting us in rebuilding our economy,” she says.

Maria Golub expects the eighth package of sanctions to be completed within a week.

“Everything will be clear in the near future. And it is here that the philosophy of imposing sanctions packages must be altered. Of course, the 9th and 10th packages of sanctions are possible, but it is preferable for the European community to listen to Estonia’s approach and work ahead of time, that is, before the Russian Federation takes another step toward escalation,” – she reached a conclusion.

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