03:46 GMT04 August 2021
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    Russia-EU: Sanctions Policy Losing Steam?

    Red Line
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    Amid signals that the EU is not ready to give up its sanctions policy against Russia, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker braved the hardliners by announcing that he would attend the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum to meet President Putin.

    In an article titled “Jean-Claude Juncker’s Russia trip raises red flags”, written by Jacopo Barigazzi and carried by Politico, the author begins by writing that:

    “Juncker plans to attend a major international conference in St. Petersburg — an annual gathering of politicians, business leaders and thinkers that is often described as Putin’s version of the World Economic Forum in Davos. The Commission president would be the first leader of an EU institution to visit Russia since sanctions were imposed in March 2014…”

    Barigazzi reports that this brave move has created worries in the West, with Junker’s allies questioning the purpose of his visit. The journalist notes that:

    “According to diplomatic sources, several countries — including the U.K. and the U.S. as well as some Baltic and Central European nations — have privately expressed unease that Juncker’s participation in an event clearly designed to burnish Putin’s credentials as a statesman could only bolster the Russian position at a delicate moment in the sanctions debate.”

    Kirill Koktysh, associate professor at MGIMO-University (studio guest); and Jan Van Benthem, foreign commentator at the Nederlands Dagblad (The Netherlands Daily) commented on the topic.

    Russia, Jean-Claude Juncker, European Union, anti-Russian sanctions
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