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Russia Stands With Israel Against EU Sanctions

Putin has emerged as an ally of Israel against EU bullying

Russia is opposed to the EU’s plan to impose sanctions on Israel if Israel goes through with its plan to annex the Jordan Valley, according to a senior Russian official.

Russian state media outlet TASS quoted Konstatin Kosachev, Chairman of the Russian Federal Council’s Foreign Affairs Committee, as saying that while Russia maintains its support for a political solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, it will stand against the EU’s drive to impose sanctions on Israel.

“Russia sees no alternative to resolving the Middle East issue other than through political means and has urged Israelis and Palestinians to return to the negotiating table,” Kosachev said.

“Moscow won’t support the EU’s plans to impose sanctions on Israel for the seizure of Palestinian territories. Only the UN Security Council has the right to introduce restrictions.”

Israel previously opposed international sanctions on Russia after the latter annexed Crimea in 2014, and has urged the United States to lift its own sanctions on Russia.

The proposed EU sanctions against Israel are being pushed by the liberal Western European governments of France, Belgium, Sweden and Ireland. Several of the more conservative-nationalist Central European countries, such as Hungary and Austria, remain critical of sanctions, and have blocked a recent effort to censure Israel within EU institutions. In the past, however, the EU has just overruled Hungarian objections to its Israel policy.

Furthermore, if a sanctions resolution cannot be passed at the pan-European level, several European countries are considering imposing sanctions on the national level.

Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn has unveiled a new approach to sanctions, which would see the liberal Western European countries end all joint projects and programs with Israel. He has urged the EU to take an approach akin to the one it took against Russia in 2014.

Written by Dan Weissman

Dan Weissman is the editor of The Schpiel.

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