MOSCOW, September 11 (RIA Novosti) – The new sanctions that the European Union may impose on Russia amid the Ukraine crisis are expected to be purely “symbolic,” the acting director of the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences said Thursday.
“Even if the new sanctions are introduced, it looks like these will be vain and more symbolic than substantive decisions,” Aleksei Gromyko said during a video-linkup organized by the International Information Agency Rossiya Segodnya.
“One can only hope that common sense prevails and the EU countries understand that the time for sanctions has passed and all countries should [concentrate on] rescuing one of the largest countries in Europe, Ukraine,” he said.
Ukraine is currently facing “a catastrophic scenario” this winter and may not survive by the end of the year,” Gromyko said. “Only joint efforts can save the country,” he added.
Earlier this month, the European Union agreed on expanding the so-called sectoral sanctions against Russia. The imposition of the new sanctions has been postponed pending an assessment of the implementation of the ceasefire agreement and the peace plan in Ukraine.
The Committee of the Permanent Representatives (Coreper) failed to agree on the imposition of new sanctions on Wednesday. The discussion is expected to resume on Thursday.
The European Union and the United States have already imposed several rounds of economic sanctions over Moscow’s alleged participation in the Ukrainian conflict. The Russian side reacted by introducing a year-long ban on certain food imports from the European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia and Norway.
At the EU Summit held in Brussels on August 30, European leaders urged the European Commission to create proposals for more sanctions against Russia within a week. However, the EU member states remained divided and Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico called on Brussels to put off imposing new sanctions against Russia.