Five EU countries undermining NATO by continuing to fund Russia

Ukraine: Inna Sovsun discusses possible Rosatom sanctions

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Five EU countries are still importing goods from Russia, increasing their business with Moscow by more than 50 percent since the beginning of the war on Ukraine. The EU has imposed a series of sanctions packages since Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Kyiv one year ago. But despite Brussels’ efforts to cut ties with Putin’s regime, some in the bloc are still reluctant to follow suit and show Ukraine their utmost support.

Imports from Russia to Slovenia, Bulgaria, Spain, Hungary and Greece were as much as 250 percent higher compared to November last year.

According to The Telegraph, Hungary’s imports from Russia hit 262 percent above a three-year average in November 2022.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has been Putin’s closest ally in the EU, showing the least amount of military support to Ukraine in the bloc.

He has often lobbied against sanctions on Moscow, refused to send weapons to Ukraine and held up an aid package from the bloc for Kyiv.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Dr Eszter Simon, an expert in Hungarian politics at Nottingham Trent University, said: “What I’ve seen in the past 12 years is an increasing friendship and increasing dependence on Russia.

“Prime minister Viktor Orbán has made a complete U-turn with Russia since 2010 whilst keeping the benefits of Western institutions.”

Slovenia and Bulgaria have also seen an increase in their imports from Russia since the start of the war.

Some EU countries’ dependence on Russia’s gas imports has proven a bigger obstacle than Brussels hoped for.

Last year, Spain’s trade with Algeria collapsed over a territorial dispute for Western Sahara.

Russia became the country’s second-largest importer as a result.

The 27-nation European Union has hit Russia with tough sanctions and sent Ukraine billions in support.

Defending the bloc’s efforts against Russia’s dependence, defence analyst Michael Clarke, former head of the Royal United Services Institute think tank, said: “The EU is taking sanctions, quite serious sanctions, in the way that it should. The US is back in Europe with a vengeance in a way we never thought it would be again.”

NATO member states have poured weapons and equipment worth billions of dollars into Ukraine. The alliance has buttressed its eastern flank, and the countries nearest to Ukraine and Russia, including Poland and the Baltic states, have persuaded more hesitant NATO and European Union allies, potentially shifting Europe’s centre of power eastwards.

Western unity will come under more and more pressure the longer the conflict grinds on.

“Russia is planning for a long war,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said at the end of 2022, but the alliance was also ready for the “long haul.”

German girl claims she’s found ‘evidence’ she is Madeleine McCann [VIDEO]
Putin lashes out at Church of England over gender-neutral God [INSIGHT]
Brexit deal on brink as DUP say ‘we have potential to resolve issues’ [ANALYSIS]

Before the war, European Union nations imported almost half their natural gas and a third of their oil from Russia. The invasion, and sanctions slapped on Russia in response, delivered an energy price shock on a scale not seen since the 1970s.

The war disrupted global trade that was still recovering from the pandemic. Food prices have soared, since Russia and Ukraine are major suppliers of wheat and sunflower oil, and Russia is the world’s top fertiliser producer.

Grain-carrying ships have continued to sail from Ukraine under a fragile UN-brokered deal, and prices have come down from record levels.

But food remains a geopolitical football. Russia has sought to blame the West for high prices, while Ukraine and its allies accuse Russia of cynically using hunger as a weapon.

Source: Read Full Article