RIGA - The countries of the European Union (EU) must strongly condemn Russia for organizing pseudo-referendums in the occupied territories of Ukraine and introduce new sanctions against the aggressor state, said Maris Andzans, director of the Center for Geopolitical Studies in Riga and associate professor of Riga Stradins University, in a conversation with LETA.
EU countries must state in their announcements that these are not real referendums and that they do not comply with any basic norms at all, the professor pointed out.
Many sanctions have already been imposed, so the question is how strong the new ones will be, Andzans said. In addition, as the political scientist noted, many member states have interests that may be affected by sanctions.
As an example, Andzans cited Russia's relatively large role in the maintenance and construction of nuclear power plants, which could be subject to sanctions. Hungary and Bulgaria could object in this matter, because the nuclear energy industry of these countries is maintained by a Russian company, the professor said. Similarly, the Baltic States and Poland have not yet managed to convince many EU countries to ban Russian citizens from entering the bloc, and there are countries that have announced that they will be open to Russian citizens fleeing mobilization, the political scientist noted.
Sanctions could also be aimed at import and export goods, said the director of the research center. He also mentioned that a price limit could be set for oil products that EU countries could pay to Russia.
As Andzans mentioned, individual sanctions could also be imposed, which would be directed against people involved in the organization of pseudo-referendums, that is, against lower and middle-level officials, but possibly also against a higher-level official. Reaching an agreement on this type of sanctions will not be difficult, the political scientist thinks.