The European Union has had economic sanctions on Russia since last year when their annexation of Ukraine went too far. This has hurt Russian energy, defense, and financial sectors, including the expansion of its oil industry, which has been especially hard hit as the country increases crude production in an attempt to join the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Russia sees these sanction extensions as a “Russophobe lobby” victory, claiming that divisions in the EU were to blame, not EU consensus on Russian presence in Ukraine.
The Russian Foreign Ministry even went so far as to accuse the EU of intentionally ignoring the fact that the continued sanctions “will definitely result in hundreds of thousands or, by some estimates, even a couple of million Europeans losing their jobs.”
But there are equally compelling arguments from the other side. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg asserted that the sanctions were necessary to show the consequences for such actions as Russia has taken in Ukraine.
The EU has said Russia must return Ukraine’s border control by the end of the year. In response, Russia has extended their own sanctions on Western imported foods, a shot at both the EU and the U.S. who also have sanctions against Russian imports.
How long can these two hold each other hostage?
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