A potential ban on EU countries to serve Russian merchant ships will not have negative consequences for the economy of the aggressor, because the vessels can sail under the flags of other countries in the world. This is in exclusive comments the online edition of UA.News said the expert of the International centre for policy studies (ICPS), Mykola Kapitonenko.
According to the analyst, the EU may implement a demonstrative action – to ban visits to European ports to individual vehicles or individual associated with certain companies courts. At the same time, the expert doubts that Brussels will decide on a full-scale ban of the maintenance of the Russian ships for a number of reasons.
“First, between Russia and Europe remains a high degree of interdependence and trade. Many of Europeans are not interested beyond the level of sanctions that are already in place today. Secondly, the position and interests of European States on this issue differ significantly. In the EU there are States that are more or less dependent on trade with Russia. It would be very difficult to find a consensus in relation to any strengthening of anti-Russian sanctions. And third, even if Brussels decides to block the ports, it will not give the desired result for Ukraine – the Kremlin still does not release captured Ukrainian sailors and ships, and unlocks the movement across the Kerch Strait”
Moreover, Mykola Kapitonenko believes that blocking ports will not have significant negative consequences for the energy sector and economy of Russia. The expert recalled that the Russian oil and gas supplied to Europe by the courts and the oil and gas pipelines, so the energy of the aggressor constraint of this type does not hit.
As for other sectors of the economy, the analyst predicts a rise associated costs for Russian exports to Europe, but without critical values. Also, the ICPS expert noted that Russia can easily work around the “port” of EU sanctions.
“The Russians simply unable to Charter ships under the flags of other States, in particular, Panama, and continue to swim and to trade with the EU. The principle of freedom of navigation and Maritime free trade by the Europeans makes very inefficient any sanctions in the form of a prohibition of ships to open any special ports. The most effective are the sanctions that have worked and continue to work – sectoral restrictions against Russia’s economy and personal sanctions against individuals and legal entities”
The analyst does not believe in the practical use of the other sanctions that I talked the leaders of the EU – ban on the construction of the gas pipeline “Nord stream-2”. Mykola Kapitonenko noted that this project meets the long-term interests of not only Russia, but also Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, France and other wealthy European countries. He recalled that previous attempts to block the construction of the energy highway via the EU institutions to no avail, and predicts the completion and launch of the project in operation.
“Even if the “Nord stream-2″ and is built, it does not help Kiev to return the seized Ukrainian sailors and ships. The construction of this pipeline, the US pressure on Europe for this reason and the liberation of our seamen are two different separate issues. Ukraine will not be able to combine these questions together and use them as the only tool to achieve the objectives in the aspect of returning sailors, or even deal with the situation that occurred in the Kerch Strait and the Azov sea”
We will remind, the European Parliament’s draft resolution suggested the EU countries to deny access to Russian ships in its ports as long as Russia will not restore free navigation through the Kerch Strait and the Azov sea. It is, above all, about the Russian ships from the ports of the Azov sea. The document also contains a request for the release of Ukrainian ships and sailors captured by its security forces on 25 November.
On 13 December the EU for six months extended economic sanctions against the banking, financial and energy sectors of the Russian Federation. The last time the European Council extended the economic sanctions against Russia because of the failure of the Minsk agreements on June 29. Their term expires on 31 January 2019.
Earlier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has supported tougher sanctions against Russia, lower house of the U.S. Congress condemned the construction of the pipeline “Nord stream-2” and called on President Donald trump to impose new restrictions against Russia. The U.S. state Department hope that Europe will abandon the project “Nord stream-2” and will expand sanctions against the background of open aggression of Russia.