On November 13, 2023, the pro-Kremlin publication “Georgia and World” published information about the sanctions imposed on Russia by the European Union. The article states that Europe and the US are dooming Georgia by offering the country to support sanctions, because supporting sanctions means cutting off all trade relations with Russia. The article further claims that European leaders already realize that the sanctions imposed against Russia are hurting Europe more, and as a result, various countries, including the Scandinavian countries, for which the Russian market was economically beneficial, are slowly dropping from the ranks of the countries that have signed the sanctions.
On November 15, the article was published unchanged on the TVM.ge website.
The article contains 2 false claims: 1) The claim that joining the EU sanctions means for Georgia to cut off all trade relations with Russia is disinformation. Sanctions do not apply to agricultural products and food; 2) The claim that the Scandinavian countries no longer join the EU sanctions is false as well. Denmark, Sweden and Finland, as EU member states, have joined all the packages received so far. Another Scandinavian state – Norway, which is not a member of the European Union, joined the majority of sanctions, including the last one – the 11th package.
According to the article, for Georgia, joining the sanctions imposed by the European Union entails cutting off all trade relations with Russia and to refuse any products imported from Russia, as well as the export of all products to Russia. The article gives examples of import of bread flour and export of fruit, wine, spirits and mineral waters.
In fact, the sanctions imposed by the European Union against Russia do not cover the export of food and agricultural products from Russia to the global market and transactions related to the same field. An exception in this regard is only a few types of fertilizers, the import of which is restricted in the European Union. Also, the export of agricultural products and food from the EU to Russia is not restricted, if this activity is not carried out by sanctioned persons.
In the article we also read that the number of countries joining the sanctions imposed against Russia are “slowly reduced,” citing the Scandinavian countries as an example.
As of today, the European Union adopted 11 packages of sanctions against Russia. Sanctions are adopted only with the consent of all member states, and its implementation is the responsibility of the member states of the organization. The member countries of the European Union, Scandinavia – Denmark and Sweden, as well as Finland, which is considered together with the Scandinavian countries due to its close ties, have supported all the packages developed so far.
As for another Scandinavian country – Norway, which is not a member of the European Union, the obligation to implement the sanctions adopted by the organization does not apply to it. However, Norway, in most cases, joins the sanctions adopted by the European Union. The latest package of sanctions, which the country approved at the end of September, was no exception, restricting the entry into the country of cars with nine seats or less registered in Russia.
Therefore, the claim that the Scandinavian countries are no longer joining them due to frustration with the sanctions is not true.
The article by “Georgia and World” correctly mentioned that the European Union is currently working on the twelfth package of sanctions against Russia. The European Commission has already approved the package, but it must be finally approved by the European Council.
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