Borrell: ‘Moscow will have to choose either butter or guns’

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 06 July 2022 17:19

In an article published in the French newspaper ‘Le Journal du Dimanche’, the EU High Representative Josep Borrell said the sanctions against Russia, implemented after the start of the full-scale aggression against Ukraine are already hitting Vladimir Putin and his accomplices hard, and their impact on the Russian economy will intensify over time. 

Borrell explains why and how Western sanctions against Russia are more effective than most people think. Although Russia exports a lot of raw materials, it also has no choice but to import many high value-added products that it does not manufacture. For all advanced technology, it is 45% dependent on Europe, 21% on the United States, and only 11% on China. 

In the military field, which is crucial in the context of the war in Ukraine, the sanctions limit Russia’s capacity to produce precision missiles, such as the Iskander or the KH 101, says Borrell. He also mentions that almost all foreign car manufacturers have decided to withdraw from Russia and the few cars produced by Russian manufacturers will be sold without airbags or automatic transmission. 

The oil industry is suffering not only from the departure of foreign operators but also from the difficulty of accessing advanced technologies such as horizontal drilling,” says the EU high official. “The ability of the Russian industry to bring new wells on stream is likely to be limited. Finally, in order to maintain air traffic, Russia will have to withdraw the majority of its aircrafts from circulation in order to recover the spare parts needed to allow the others to fly. Added to this there is also the loss of access to financial markets, being disconnected from major global research networks and a massive brain drain.”

Borrell also notes that China, contrary to expectations, offers a limited alternative for the Russian economy, especially for high-tech products, because, to date, the Chinese government has not assisted Russia in circumventing Western sanctions. 

Will these significant and growing impacts lead Vladimir Putin to modify his strategic calculations? Probably not in the immediate future: his actions are not guided primarily by economic logic. However, by forcing him to choose either butter or guns, the sanctions lock him in a vice that is gradually tightening,” concludes Josep Borrell.

Find out more

Press release

Borrell: EU members ‘will reach agreement’ on new sanctions package against Russia

Published in World
Tuesday, 31 May 2022 10:29

European Union members will reach an agreement on a new sanctions package against Russia, including imposing restrictions on Russian oil imports, during the ongoing summit in Brussels, EU High Representative Josep Borrell said in an interview with France Info today.

We need to decide unanimously. There were tough talks yesterday afternoon, as well as this morning. I think that this afternoon, we will be able to offer to the heads of the member states an agreement,” said Borrell.

European Union governments have so far failed to reach agreement on an embargo on Russian oil. “We have to take the individual circumstances of everybody into account,” Borrell said.

He  added that an EU-wide solution should give the three countries which accounted for 7% to 8% of Russian oil imports – Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia – “more time to adjust”.

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Press release

Sanctions: European Commission publishes consolidated list of travel bans

Published in Politics
Friday, 13 May 2022 11:05

On 11 May, the European Commission published a consolidated list of travel bans in its EU Sanctions Map tool. This includes those who are implicated, in one way or another, in Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

This sanctions tool is available to Member State authorities as well as EU citizens and allows EU citizens to see who is subject to a travel ban under our sanctions measures, and is therefore prevented from travelling to the EU.

EU High Representative Josep Borrell said that “travel bans are an integral element of our foreign policy toolbox and an important feature of most EU sanctions regimes”.

Since 2014, the Council has imposed travel bans against 1,091 individuals in response to their actions violating Ukraine’s sovereignty. Since the start of the illegal Russian aggression in Ukraine this year, approximately 900 travel bans restricting entry into the territory of the EU have been imposed against individuals who support and facilitate that aggression,” said Borrell.

Find out more

Press release

EU Sanctions Map tool

EU Sanctions Whistleblower Tool looks for information on violations of EU sanctions on Russia or Belarus

 

 

Borrell meets new Georgian Foreign Minister, underlines full EU support

Published in Politics
Thursday, 07 April 2022 12:26

EU High Representative Josep Borrell yesterday met new Georgian Foreign Minister Ilia Darchiashvili in Strasbourg, and congratulated him on his appointment.

The High Representative  recalled the European Union’s full support to Georgia in the current challenging regional and geopolitical context and in facing the repercussions of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The EU continues to be ready to step up its cooperation with Georgia to strengthen its resilience,” an EU press release said. 

Borrell reaffirmed the EU’s unwavering commitment to Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty within its internationally recognised borders, and underlined the EU’s commitment to further deepen EU-Georgia relations. He stressed the importance for Georgia to make concrete and rapid progress on key reform priorities, and notably to further tackle the domestic political polarisation, reform the judiciary and adopt the agreed constitutional reforms.

 

President Michel mandates Christian Danielsson to engage as personal envoy, in EU-mediated political dialogue in Georgia

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 09 March 2021 11:32

Christian Danielsson has been mandated by President Michel, in cooperation with High Representative Borrell, to engage in the EU-backed mediation effort in Georgia, in follow up to the relaunch of the political dialogue during President Michel’s visit to Tbilisi on 1 March.

Mr. Danielsson will mediate the relaunched dialogue among Georgia's political parties, working closely with the Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia, Carl Hartzell, with the aim to overcome the current political tensions in Georgia.

Mr. Danielsson will be travelling to Georgia in the coming days to engage with all stakeholders to the process.

President Michel and the High Representative Borrell encourage all political actors in Georgia to commit fully to the dialogue in a constructive spirit and with a view to pursuing mutually agreeable outcomes, in the interest of a stable, democratic and reform-oriented Georgia, able to successfully advance on its pro-European path.

Background

Christian Danielsson was formerly  Permanent Representative for Sweden before he became Deputy Secretary-General of the European Commission in 2011. In 2013 he became Director-General for Enlargement and in 2015 he was appointed Director-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations. He is currently the Head of the European Commission's Representation in Sweden.

Press release of the Council of the European Union

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