Bulgaria leads EU Council after PM vowed to relax Russia sanctions

2018/1/2 20:47:35

Analyst: “The key question is whether the political tide in EU legislatures will tip in favor of Russia in time to rescue the economy from collapse, or rescue Putin from his own oligarchs.”

 


SOFIA, Jan 2, 2018 - Bulgaria assumed the leadership of the European Union Council on Jan. 1 for the first time since becoming an EU member in 2007, Concorde Capital reminded clients in an online advisory today. In the fall, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said that Bulgaria should work towards removing sanctions imposed on Russia and soften tensions between Europe and Russia during its chairmanship this year of the EU Council. “I don’t know if we will succeed – this is a very important task for us – but we will try,” he said in Sofia on Sept. 18, as reported by the eurointegration.com.ua news site.

 

Zenon Zawada The number of EU players interested in relaxing or removing EU sanctions is gradually growing with every passing year, a trend that Russian President Putin is counting on. The key question is whether the political tide in EU legislatures will tip in favor of Russia in time to rescue the economy from collapse, or rescue Putin from his own oligarchs.

 

A few key elections are scheduled for 2018 in Europe. The Czech presidential elections this month will involve Milos Zeman, who is among the EU’s biggest advocates for removing sanctions. The Italian parliamentary elections will be held in March, which will likely involve gains for the populist, anti-immigrant parties. Sweden’s parliamentary elections are slated for September, with the anti-immigrant party also looking to make gains. Most of Europe’s Far Right parties are aligned with Russia.

 

Despite the momentum in Putin’s favor, we don’t expect Bulgaria to accomplish much in relaxing sanctions during its chairmanship this year. The EU Council still shows strong unity in favor of the sanctions. Instead, we advise watching the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, where there’s a real chance of sanctions against Russia being relaxed this year (in order to appease its threats of abandonment). As we have stated, that decision could be the tipping point for other European legislatures to follow.

 

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For more information, link here: www.concorde.ua 

 

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