Polish PM names 3 EU countries that won’t stop trade relations with Russia
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki named three European countries on Friday that oppose blocking trade relations with Russia, and have acted as “brakes” with regard to further sanctions in retaliation to its offensive in Ukraine.
“Poland strongly emphasized the need to limit the trade in hydrocarbons. Unfortunately, large countries, such as Germany, but also small ones, such as Austria and Hungary, are more restrained. They refrain from stopping trade with Russia here and now,” the prime minister said ahead of NATO talks in Brussels, adding that he hopes to convince them to share Poland’s point of view.
Morawiecki said Poland’s stance towards Russia amid the offensive in Ukraine has not changed, and that his country will be pushing for further sanctions to be imposed immediately.
“Those who point out that intensive sanctions are needed here and now are right. The impact of the sanctions in the long and medium term is obviously important, but it does not affect Russia’s decisions towards Ukraine here and now,” he said, adding that it’s important to standardize the approach toward Russia within the EU and NATO.
Moscow attacked the neighboring state in late February, following a seven-year standoff over Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, and Russia’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics in Donetsk and Lugansk. Russia has demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join NATO, while Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.
In retaliation for the Russian offensive, multiple Western countries have imposed unprecedented economic sanctions against Russian organizations and individuals.