The outcome of the latest meeting of the EU Permanent Representatives Committee (COREPER) shows that the EU is so far not ready to abandon the policy of sanctions and make independent decisions.
"Obviously, the European Union is not ready to run off the sanctions path and start making independent decisions rather than go with the flow of the common Western position," Russian Permanent Representative to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov told Interfax.
"COREPER is a working body. It is clear that senior EU officials have entrusted permanent representatives with uncharacteristic powers. Naturally, they cannot initiate breakthroughs or momentous decisions. They were entrusted with making a review, and that review was not about lifting or not lifting, tightening or mitigating [the sanctions] but about appraising their [the sanctions'] effectiveness. I presume that they, being reasonable people, must have arrived at the conclusion about the complete inefficiency of the sanctions," Chizhov said.
"We shall see which political conclusions their superiors will draw. But the superiors are about to be replaced. This European Commission has three working days left and everyone is busy with reformatting and turning over their duties because a new Commission will take the office on November 1," he continued.
As to whether one should expect the new Commission to lift the sanctions, the senior diplomat said, "Political decisions will still be made by member countries; political decisions remain an area of member countries. The time when member countries, especially the large ones, have this inclination will depend on lots of factors," he said.
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