Czech Finance Minister: Total Ban on Trade With Russia Not Realistic

A total ban on trade with Russia proposed by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki is not realistic as the EU’s four sanction packages are working well, said Czech finance minister Zbyněk Stanjura.

“From what I have heard from fellow finance ministers from other countries, I do not think this proposal will get support,” Stanjura said. While the Czech government claims that it promotes the strictest sanctions against Russia, a complete ban on trade would mean the end of gas and oil imports from Russia – a move unacceptable for several EU countries, including Germany and Austria.

Further measures against Russia will be discussed at the European Council summit on 24 and 25 March.

In its latest package, the EU widened sanctions to more Russian and Belarusian oligarchs and banned exports of luxury goods, iron, and steel, as well as investments in the Russian energy sector.

EU sanctions are landing a devastating blow to the Russian economy, said Czech National Bank Governor Jiří Rusnok. European and US sanctions will set the Russian economy back twenty years, he added.

Stanjura added that the fifth package of EU sanctions is being prepared. Czechia proposes to exclude all Russian banks from the SWIFT international payments system, as only seven banks are currently barred from the system.

Stanjura also called on his EU counterparts to close ports to all Russian ships.


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