The European Union sees no reason for lifting the sanctions against Russia because of the pandemic coronavirus. This is stated in the letter from the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and President of the European Council of Charles Michel, the group of deputies of the European Parliament, which on June 10 was at the disposal of Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty.
The letter was sent on 26 may. It said that sanctions imposed against Russia because of its role in the conflict in Donbas and annexation of Crimea, did not prevent the Russian authorities to counter the epidemic of coronavirus.
Von der Leyen and Michel noted that the sanctions were deliberately “narrowly worded” to limit the risks of unintended consequences or harm a large number of people.
“None of the measures does not provide for a ban on the export of products or drugs, vaccines or medical equipment,” – said in the letter.
Earlier, 19 members of the European Parliament in a letter to EU leaders accused Russia of trying to influence the position of Brussels, taking advantage of the pandemic to achieve a revision or lifting of sanctions.
“The Russian authorities, conducting public campaigns, such as sending bad applicable of humanitarian aid in Italy, as well as misinterpretation of the statements of UN officials can attempt to influence the position of the EU leadership and member States on sanctions”, – stated in the April letter, the influential members of the European Parliament , Michel, von der Leyen, as well as the Supreme EU representative for foreign and security policy, to Josep Borrell.
Thus the members of the European Parliament reacted to the statement of Russian President Vladimir Putin. In March, during a video conference of the “Big twenty” he offered to introduce a moratorium on economic sanctions because of the pandemic coronavirus. “This is a purely humanitarian issue. Need to clean out these questions from all political husk”, – said Putin.
The EU imposed sanctions against Russia in 2014 in response to the annexation of Crimea and aggression in Eastern Ukraine. In respect of Russia, there are several sector-specific packages, their influence periodically extended.