EU foreign ministers not mulling new Russia sanctions

"We are talking about co-operation with Russia instead of sanctions," said Luxembourg foreign minister Jean Asselborn today

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Luxembourg foreign minister Jean Asselborn

EU foreign ministers are not considering any concrete proposal for further visa bans and asset freezes against Russian officials, nor further EU economic sanctions against Russia, in reaction to the detention of opposition politician Alexei Navalny and pro-democracy protestors.

Last week, the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling for the EU to prevent completion of Russian state-controlled Gazprom’s 55bn m³/yr Nord Stream 2 project. Parliament also wants sanctions against Russian “oligarchs” with the EU no longer be a “welcoming place for Russian wealth of unclear origin”.

“We are talking about co-operation with Russia instead of sanctions,” said Luxembourg foreign minister Jean Asselborn today. But, like many EU foreign ministers, the Luxembourg minister did call for Navalny to be freed and an end to “autocracy”.

EU foreign affairs high representative Josep Borrell said the “crackdown” in Russia was completely “unacceptable”. But Borrell will still go to Moscow to meet Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov at the beginning of February.

Some member states raised the question of sanctions but there is no “concrete proposal” on the table, Borrell said. The EU imposed asset freezes and visa bans on six security officers in October 2020, following the assassination attempt on Navalny.

In written conclusions on climate diplomacy, issued at their meeting, foreign ministers said they will “scale up efforts to counter disinformation campaigns against the energy transition”. German federal state Mecklenburg-Vorpommern recently approved the creation of the MV Climate Protection Foundation, supported by Nord Stream 2, to help complete Gazprom’s pipeline project.

EU leaders will discuss relations with Russia in March.

US President Joe Biden has not signalled any softening of US position nor its opposition to Nord Stream 2.

About Stu Turley 2288 Articles
Stuart Turley is President and CEO of Sandstone Group, a top energy data, and finance consultancy working with companies all throughout the energy value chain. Sandstone helps both small and large-cap energy companies to develop customized applications and manage data workflows/integration throughout the entire business. With experience in implementing enterprise networks, supercomputers, and cellular tower solutions, Sandstone has become a trusted source and advisor in this space. Stuart has led the “Total Corporate Digital Integration” platform at Sandstone and works with Sandstone clients to help integrate all aspects of modern digital business. He is also the Executive Publisher of, the best source for 24/7 energy news coverage and is the Co-Host of the energy news video and Podcast Energy News Beat. Stuart is on Board Member of ASN Productions, DI Communities Stuart is guided by over 30 years of business management experience, having successfully built and help sell multiple small and medium businesses while consulting for numerous Fortune 500 companies. He holds a B.A in Business Administration from Oklahoma State and an MBA from Oklahoma City University.