Ukrainian business association calls EU sanctions ‘inadequate’, ‘ridiculous’ – POLITICO

European Union sanctions against Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine are “inadequate” and “ridiculous”, according to the Ukrainian Business and Trade Association.

“Seeing shelling and missile strikes (…) falling on residential areas, or for example power plants with photos of residents hiding in the Kiev metro, this inadequate approach is ridiculous,” said Nazar Bobitski, head of the association’s Brussels office.

Bobitski is currently in Ukraine and left Kyiv with his wife and two children and traveled to Lviv near the Polish border to avoid being caught in Russian attacks. He is in regular contact with UBTA member companies in Kyiv and elsewhere in the country. Many Ukrainians, he said, were angry with the EU because they “really put financial interests first”.

The new EU sanctions package was still not enough, he told POLITICO. “The key message is that if you want to see the advance of aggression stopped and the suffering…stopped, the sanctions must be painful enough to force Putin to think twice, because otherwise it is just lip service. ‘air,” Bobitski said.

The ideal scenario, he said, would be to ban all hydrocarbon exports from Russia to the EU. Another interim solution could be, he said, to ban gas imports through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, pushing Russia to redirect its gas flows to Europe through the Ukrainian gas system. The sanctions are also expected to affect Russia’s financial and oil and gas sectors more generally, Bobitski said. “It must be felt so painfully by the Russian elite,” he said.

Bobitski also urged the EU to support Ukrainian businesses. So far the steel, food and retail sector, which his association represents, has not faced major disruption despite the invasion – but that could change soon. It is essential, he said, to make land trade as easy as possible given that the port of Odessa is blocked.

This could include less red tape and checks at the land border. “Smuggling is not the thing we should be worrying about right now,” he said.

It is also in the EU’s interest to impose strong sanctions now, according to Bobitski.

“We are now on the front line. If nothing is done, then Central Europe is next,” Bobitski said.


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button