Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Sweden presses on Nordstream 2


The Riksdag’s EU Committee has given Foreign Minister Ann Linde (S) an order to address the situation around the Russian-German gas pipeline during Monday’s meeting with other EU countries.

Both the governing parties S and MP were admittedly opposed, but on Friday had to bow to a majority in the committee.

Among most EU member states, however, there is moderate interest in also introducing sanctions around Nordstream, not least because there is a risk of affecting German and European companies as well.

More people?

Instead, the sanctions are said to be directed at a number of other Russian citizens who could be linked to human rights abuses and the Russian actions against opposition politician Alexei Navalny.

Several different lists have been circulating among EU diplomats, but are not expected to be completed in a couple of weeks. Monday’s meeting will probably instead end with a green light being given to Foreign Minister Josep Borrell to draw up a final proposal on who will be affected by the travel ban and the freezing of any assets in the EU.

– It is obvious that Russia is on a collision course with the EU. We will have an important discussion about how we should respond to this and I hope that we can do it in a united and decisive way, says Borrell on the way to the meeting.

“Bottom position”

There is widespread agreement that the sanctions should in any case be extended.

– I am because we are starting to prepare new sanction lists against individuals. At the same time, we must also look for ways to maintain a dialogue with Russia, even though relations are currently at a bottom, says German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on his way to the meeting.

– If there have been countries that were previously naive towards the Russian behavior, I hope they are not now. Honestly, I do not expect any colleague to be against, says in turn Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zacharieva to the news site Politico Europe.

EU countries are also expected to give the go-ahead for further sanctions against the rulers of Myanmar (Burma) after the military coup three weeks ago on Monday.

The foreign ministers will also have a first longer conversation with new American colleague Antony Blinken, if only via the web.

Victor Nummelin / TT





#Sweden #presses #Nordstream

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