Sixth Russian sanction package is progress but EU must go further

Author: Clara De Melo Ponce

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Renew Europe welcomes the announcement of the sixth sanction package against Russia, but recalls the demand of the European Parliament for a total embargo on the import of Russian coal, oil, gas, nuclear material and the exclusion of all Russian financial institutions and banks from SWIFT.

We express our disappointment at reports of possible exemptions considered for some Member States, when intra-EU solidarity could provide solutions, as these undermine EU coherence, when unity is our greatest strength. We repeat our calls for stronger sanctions targeting Putin’s enablers, in line with the lists proposed by Alexei Navalny. We welcome the President of the Commission’s announcement of the development of a new RRF type fund for the recovery of Ukraine.

Stéphane Séjourné, President of Renew Europe said:

"This sanction package is progress but the EU can still be more ambitious, in line with the European Parliament’s demands. European unity is our strength; it is regrettable that the Hungarian Government is playing for another team. Russia’s actions show we need a new recovery plan to make our Union more resilient, autonomous and free."

Renew Europe warns that EU countries have spent four times more on Russian fossil fuels than aid to Ukraine.

Luis Garicano MEP, Vice President of Renew Europe, said:

"I am happy that the EU is finally moving on an oil embargo, but this is far short of what this Parliament wants; we passed a resolution a month ago asking for an immediate full embargo on oil, coal and gas. While the debate goes on, the EU has sent to Russia 50 billion euros on energy imports since the war started - four times more than our aid to Ukraine. By the time the oil embargo is executed, Russia will have received over a 100 billion euros more in revenue."

"We are now in the worst of all worlds. Consumers are suffering from the high prices but Russian earnings still grow as the higher prices more than compensate for the lower volume."