The EU must maintain sanctions pressure on Russia, Baerbock says


German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has called for the swift approval of the European Union’s proposed new sanctions package against Russia, even as Berlin is accused of blocking its passage.

“For the German government it is absolutely clear that we as the European Union must continue to maintain the pressure of sanctions against Russia,” she said Friday during a meeting of the foreign ministers of the Baltic states in Finland.

She said the German Foreign Ministry was working “fully” to reach a consensus on the next round of sanctions.

For the first time, the EU plans to impose strict sanctions on Russia’s multi-billion dollar liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry.

Baerbock said the package should also focus on the role countries like Belarus play in helping Russia avoid sanctions.

But diplomats in Brussels said this week that it was German concerns and demands for changes that delayed an agreement on the sanctions.

Berlin is calling for a planned rule allowing subsidiaries to be held liable in the event of violations, to be limited to certain goods or scrapped altogether, amid apparent fears that German companies could be held responsible for violations of the sanctions.

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