After the EU sanctions against Russia failed to yield the desired results, the EU is now training its guns on Central Asia in a bid to stop sanctioned goods from reaching Russia.
The EU relied on four countries in Central Asia namely Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkey, and China, to end their dependence on Russia and cooperate with the EU to isolate Russia. However, these four countries have continued to maintain ties with Russia and are also helping it to dodge sanctions against Russia.
Now, a fuming EU may target these four nations with new measures to stop them from throwing a lifeline to Russia.
The EU’s reliance on Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkey, and China was seen as a strategic move to isolate Russia. These countries were seen as potential allies who could reduce their dependence on Russia and instead, co-operate with the EU in tightening the noose around Russia’s neck. However, the reality has been very different.
The Rising Russian Reliance
For instance, countries like Kazakhstan have increased manyfold its re-export to Russia. There are reports that Kazakhstan sent to Russia $184 million worth of shipments of different high-tech products, even though the country doesn’t produce these goods.
The EU’s reliance on these countries was based on the assumption that these countries would be willing to reduce their dependence on Russia and cooperate with the EU. However, this assumption has been proven wrong, and the EU is now struggling to find ways to isolate Russia.
The EU has been imposing various sanctions on Russia in recent years, but these sanctions have not been able to produce any desired effect. In fact, these sanctions have backfired on the EU, as Russia retaliated and cut gas supplies to Europe.
Now the EU is targeting Central Asia with new measures to stop them from throwing a lifeline to Russia.
Read More: As Europe gently starts removing sanctions on Russia, Putin goes all guns blazing against it
EU Sanctions four more Nations
As per a report, Central Asian countries such as Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan are the most likely first targets of a radical new EU proposal to stop Russia from busting sanctions by importing the high-tech components required to wage war against its neighbors. The proposal, which is part of the 11th sanctions package against Russia, seeks to target “persons and entities circumventing the Union’s restrictive measures” by restricting European companies from selling sensitive goods to Russia’s neighbors if there is circumvention. The proposal does not name any specific countries or products, leaving that decision up to EU countries.
However, some EU countries fear the proposal may open Pandora’s box and lead to the targeting of bigger trade partners such as China and Turkey. The U.S. has been pushing for a more hawkish approach on China, but the EU is reluctant to further alienate Beijing. Turkey is also seen as a major political risk, given the volatility of its politics and its leverage on issues like migration. The proposal is expected to receive feedback from EU ambassadors, and the EU does not expect a deal on the package until next week or even the week after.
The EU diplomats are correct in cautioning the EU that measures against such significant geostrategic trade partners risked backfiring. Thus, it is now time for Europe to wake up and smell the coffee.
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The new EU proposal looks like a desperate attempt to force Central Asia into obeying EU diktats and trying to punish them for doing so. It’s almost comical how the EU keeps doubling down on the same failed strategy, like a gambler who keeps betting on the same losing horse. it’s safe to say that the EU’s attempts to sanction Russia have been an utter failure, and these new threats will likely be no different. It’s time for the EU to accept the reality and not try too hard to control other countries.
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