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The reason the EU will ‘don’t dare’ to embargo Russia’s gas in a new round of sanctions

The reason the EU will 'don't dare' embargo Russia's gas in a new round of sanctions - Photo 1.

Russia’s Bovanenkovo ​​gas production facility on the Yamal peninsula. Photo: AFP/VNA

The EU summit, which will take place on June 23-24, will mainly focus on the economic challenges facing the eurozone. Several EU countries have demanded that the new round of sanctions impose a ban on Russian gas. However, according to the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper, this is unlikely to happen.

It is not clear when exactly European authorities will approve the seventh round of sanctions. But according to the previous working model of the bloc, it would take one to two months to agree and draft a sanctions package. Therefore, the next EU summit on June 23-24 will be the first time when new sanctions can be imposed.

In addition, Ukraine is expected to be a major topic of discussion within the framework of the conference. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is campaigning for the country to be recognized as an EU candidate. The government of Kiev has submitted an application for this status.

However, according to Nezavisimaya Gazeta, the consensus of all EU members to allow Kiev to “jump” the years-long standard steps to become an EU member candidate as soon as June has been fraught with challenges. And that raises the possibility that the alliance will use a new package of anti-Russian sanctions to appease Kiev. Efforts to draft a new package of sanctions have begun since the sixth package is still being worked on.

According to Nezavisimaya Gazeta, a gas embargo will do more damage to the Russian economy than an oil embargo. However, Europe is equally dependent on Russian gas.

“Sanctions will be tightened further for the amount of gas Russia can sell, for all Russian banks and access to the SWIFT system. In addition, the technologies that Russia has access to will also be taken into account,” said Associate Professor Alexander Tevdoy-Burmuli at the Moscow Institute of International Relations (MGIMO).

“It is not yet clear how the 6th package will work. In that situation, if the 7th package is approved this month, it will most likely be in a shortened form,” this expert added. In the event that new sanctions are adopted so radically, it will take time to implement them.

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