Should EU extend Russia sanctions to Chinese firms?
Negotiations are starting today, Wednesday, on a new round of sanctions against Russia that for the first time also extend to Chinese businesses set to send ‘sensitive goods’ to Russia. Previously the EU has always protested against such extraterritorial sanctions — such as when the US penalised foreign companies delivering sanctioned goods to Iran — arguing that this violates the states’ right to self-determination.
Headwind of economic interests is blowing already
The packet will be difficult to push through, writes Adevărul columnist Cristian Unteanu:
“It is completely unclear how EU member states will react against this new backdrop, especially if the ‘decisive measures’ announced by China were to be implemented. Some sources are already talking about serious concerns of large European companies, for example French and others, which had just aligned themselves with China and were hoping to benefit from the recovery of the country’s economic growth and the highly advantageous conditions there.”
Problematic, but right
Handelsblatt is torn:
“Europe’s criticism of the US under international law would no longer be credible in the future. This taboo-breaking also throws up new questions, in particular as to how rigorously the EU would apply the new instrument. Turkey is one of the countries that has powerfully scaled up trade with Russia. ... On the other hand, the decision — all contradictions notwithstanding — is right. Because the loopholes in the sanction regime against Russia are all too apparent. The EU cannot just watch helplessly while the Kremlin reorganises its supply chains. ... If diplomatic persuasion won’t wash, the war profiteers should at least feel the power of the EU market.”