EU sanctions on Russia: Increasing pressure on Putin as cost of living bites in Europe
17 April 2022 | 5:43 pm
The past few days have delivered more reports of atrocities committed by the Russian military in Ukraine: women and girls raped, civilians locked up and shot, plus reports of chemical weapons being deployed in Mariupol. Calls continue for more to be done to stop Russian President Vladimir Putin. In the EU, leaders have condemned the Kremlin, decrying the attacks as "war crimes".
Since Russia invaded Ukraine four months ago, the cost of living crisis has become a global issue. Prices have gone up around the world. In Europe, the countries that use the euro saw an average of 8.1 percent inflation in May. Pressure on prices, combined with stuttering economic growth, has sparked fears of a recession. These concerns could still come into play regarding the EU's response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In this programme, we're joined by two MEPs to discuss how the EU should balance sanctions against Russia with the risk of recession.
This week on Talking Europe we take a look at some of the other countries, aside from Ukraine, that are knocking on the EU's door to join the bloc. EU leaders held a summit on Thursday with the Western Balkan states to discuss their accession process. For Albania, that started back in 2008 and still hasn't advanced to the negotiations stage. Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama spoke to FRANCE 24’s Luke Brown on the sidelines of the EU-Western Balkans leaders' meeting in Brussels.
Although EU candidacy for Ukraine and Moldova has been hailed as historic, frustrations among other candidates years into their own membership bids should serve as a reminder that the path ahead won't be easy.
Russian President Vladimir Putin promised to transfer the Iskander-M missile systems in their conventional and nuclear versions to Belarus.
Moscow has failed to meet a deadline for over $40 billion in outstanding debts as Western sanctions squeeze the Russian economy. The Kremlin has downplayed the news, insisting it has enough to pay what it owes.
The European Commission is set to present its strategy for a united effort to ensure gas supplies for the coming winter. Meanwhile, the European Council has adopted a plan to ensure gas storage capacity is filled.
Who has got who over a barrel? G7 leaders are pushing the idea of capping the price they pay for Russian oil and gas, effectively forcing Moscow to choose whether to supply at a discount or cut off the revenue stream of its pipelines.
With the conclusion of their three-day summit, G7 leaders have agreed to develop a price cap on Russian oil and provide billions in food assistance to avert a hunger crisis caused by the war in Ukraine.
The alliance is expected to announce increased troop numbers in at its eastern borders, as well as more aid for Ukraine. Leaders from Asia and Oceania were also invited to address concerns about rising Chinese influence.
At the summit in Spain, leaders say they want to send a message to Russia, as NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg says Moscow's war in Ukraine presents the "biggest challenge" in the alliance's history.
The war in Ukraine has triggered a struggle for power and influence. Russia and China are challenging the existing world order. Western democracies are seeking to counter this and are looking for allies.
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