The European Union (EU) is limited in the means of pressure on Russia, while the member states need to adhere to a common policy. This was announced on April 28 by the EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Josep Borrell at a meeting of the European Parliament (EP).
“The EU states must remain united. It is in the capitals of the EU that the policy towards Russia is determined. We in the EU are trying to build a single foreign policy line, but whether we like it or not, foreign policy remains the prerogative of the member states. If there is no unity, then there will be no common European policy. EU leaders should not say one thing in Brussels, and then, returning to their capitals, act differently, ”Borrell said during the meeting, which was broadcast on the website of the European Parliament.
Borrell also commented on the demands of the MEPs to disconnect Russia from the system of international payments SWIFT and terminate the implementation of Nord Stream 2. He noted that SWIFT is an international private company, therefore the EU does not have the relevant competencies. He also called the theme of Nord Stream 2 contradictory.
Earlier that day, it was reported that the European Parliament called on the EU to stop the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 project. Their position in the EP was argued by the need to reduce dependence on Russian energy.
On April 20, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Germany had made a choice in favor of building Nord Stream 2, despite criticism from the EU countries. She noted that there is a political struggle around the project, but Berlin should maintain interaction with Moscow, including in the energy sector.
Nord Stream 2 is being built from Russia to Germany along the bottom of the Baltic Sea with the aim of direct and reliable gas supplies to Europe. The EU countries mainly support the project and participate in its implementation. The United States, Ukraine, the Baltic States and Poland are opposed.