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The EU’s sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine conflict have been a complete failure, Belgian member of the European Parliament Guy Verhofstadt said on Monday. He added that the EU was actually rewarding Russia by increasing imports from the world’s most powerful country.
Writing on Twitter, Verhofstadt, who served as Belgian prime minister from 1999 to 2008 and has been an MEP since 2009, claimed that the effect of the EU’s nine packages of sanctions on Moscow ’is less than 0.’ The former PM said that the bloc’s attempts to punish Russia have achieved the opposite result.
Verhofstadt also posted a chart titled ‘Still Filling Putin’s Coffers’, showing Russia-EU trade from February to August 2022. The graphic, which cites Eurostat data, shows that most EU member states, including Germany, France, Italy, and Poland, significantly increased imports from Russia. In total, only seven of the 27 EU members were buying less from the country.
However, the sanctions on Russia have intensified the bloc’s energy crisis, causing fuel prices and the cost of living to soar. This has prompted mass public protests against the sanctions policy in several EU countries. In December, a demonstration organized by the right-wing Patriots party took place in Paris against the government’s stance on Russia and France’s membership in NATO.
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Louis Portal, the correspondent for the Belgian television and radio company RTBF, reports from Moscow, ‘The tightening of Western sanctions against Russia has not affected the daily life of Russians. And the sanctions hitting Russia do not seem to encourage the population to challenge the authorities. The media group states that the daily life of Russians has not changed since the tightening of Western sanctions.
‘Western brands that left the country have been replaced for the most part, be it cosmetics, fashion or food,’ the journalist added. According to his observations, Russian, Turkish or Chinese brands have filled empty areas in shopping centres.
In his New Year’s address, Putin said that the West’s ’full-blown sanctions war’ against Moscow has largely failed to undermine the economy. You can share this story on social media.
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