Biden Presses EU To Target Russia's Energy & Banks In New Sanctions Package

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Dec 16, 2021 - 10:20 PM

The European Union has announced it's preparing a full set of sanctions against Russia, which is high on the agenda at Thursday's EU summit in Brussels. "I cannot tell it [precisely which sectors will be targeted], we are going to discuss it before we have an agreement, but we are preparing a full set of sanctions," EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrel told reporters just ahead of the meeting.

According to Bloomberg, the Biden administration is pushing for the EU to hit Russia's banking and energy sectors hard, as a set of "options" to implement in the scenario of any future attack on Ukraine. Further Bloomberg notes "the US believes agreeing on specific sanctions options would send a firm signal to the Russian president."

Source: AFP

A draft statement that the summit is soon expected to put out in finalized form was earlier in the day reported on by Reuters as warning Moscow of "massive consequences" should it invade eastern Ukraine, also as Western officials allege troops have continued to be mustered in the Crimea region and near Donbass.

In dramatic fashion, Baltic and Eastern Europe members of the 27-nation bloc said Thursday they feel "under attack" on multiple fronts:

"We really are facing a series of attacks. I see them all as associated," Latvia Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins told reporters, naming Middle Eastern migrants and refugees sent by Belarus to EU borders and artificially high natural gas prices orchestrated by Moscow and Russian disinformation.

In such an atmosphere, Borrel said before going into the summit that "Yes, this time, yes" he expects to achieve consensus on the issue of putting a robust sanctions package on the table.

Some EU leaders are going so far as to call for the Russia-to-Germany Nord Stream-2 pipeline to be added to the threatened sanctions list. The aforementioned Latvian PM Karins, for example, said going in that "It would be important that we could also decide that Nord Stream 2 is on the table [in terms of sanctions]."

"If there is heightened military activity then this project would be turned off," Karins added. Further, as CNBC reported Thursday, "Germany’s Foreign Affairs Minister Annalena Baerbock has said that Nord Stream 2 should not be allowed to operate if there’s more Russian aggression toward Ukraine."