Conflicts & War

Borrell optimistic about approval of new Russia sanctions

Panama City, May 2 (EFE).- The European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy was optimistic on Monday for the approval of a sixth package of sanctions against Russia to target its banking and energy sectors.

This new package “will affect two of the unfinished dimensions of the sanctions process: the banking sector – there will be more Russian banks that will leave the Swift system, and the energy sector, with proposals that allow limiting energy imports from Russia, especially oil,” Josep Borrell said in Panama after a meeting with the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Erika Mouynes.

The head of European diplomacy said that a team is working to prepare the sixth package, and that he hopes it can be approved at the next meeting of the council of foreign ministers on May 16-17.

“I want to point out and thank Panama for its clear and emphatic position in all international forums (…) to condemn Russia’s unjustified aggression against Ukraine,” said Borrell, who arrived in the Central American country to close a tour that also took him to Chile.

Panamanian President Laurentino Cortizo said during a meeting with Borrell that “we have condemned the invasion of Ukraine and we are going to continue to condemn it, just as we are going to continue to demand the withdrawal of the invading forces from Ukrainian territory,” according to an official statement.

Ukraine “is being subjected to violent attacks affecting the civilian population and constituting, without a doubt, war crimes. I myself have witnessed them (…) I could see the human catastrophe, the destruction of a country that Russia has created,” Borrell said.

Borrell will meet Tuesday with the foreign ministers of Central America and the Caribbean to discuss the impact of the war in Ukraine.

This analysis will be done in light of three axes: the increase in the prices of crude oil and fuel; the increase in the supply chain of food and other basic goods, and the changes in the distribution and consumption of energy that will affect the environment and the financing of projects.

On Monday, Borrell met with Cortizo and Mouynes to address various issues, including the situation in Panama and the Financial Action Task Force’s so-called grey list.

Despite the fact that Panama requested help from the EU to get removed from the list, Borrell said it cannot unless the FATF does so first, but hoped that efforts being made by the Panamanian government will lead to its delisting.

The head of European diplomacy also offered support to face the pressure of migration through Panama, a transit route for tens of thousands of irregular migrants on their way to North America, in particular the United States. EFE


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