European Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis speaks to the media in Washington on Thursday, April 21. (Cheriss May/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

Europe is discussing a sixth round of sanctions against Russia, including a hit on Russia’s energy market, a senior European Commission official and Lithuania’s finance minister said on Friday.

European Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis said that one of the issues under consideration concerns the oil embargo. There have been discussions of “smart sanctions” that could include tariffs instead of a full embargo at first.

“So there may be some nuances, but this work is ongoing,” Dombrovskis told reporters in Washington, DC.

In a separate interview with CNN in the US capital, Lithuanian Finance Minister Gintarė Skaistė said she discussed a possible next tranche of sanctions with US Treasury Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo.

“We always offer to include in sanctions the energy sector, especially oil,” as well as “additional sanctions on Russia’s financial sector,” Skaistė said.

Skaistė said sanctions must be coordinated to have an impact. “If we don’t agree on sanctions together, the United States with all the Western allies, it won’t work,” she said.

Dombrovskis said that “technically speaking, the approval of sanctions can be seen very quickly, it can be done in a matter of one or two days.”

“Basically, the question here is that sanctions require unanimity among member states, so those political discussions continue in parallel, so it’s important to reach a unanimous political agreement,” he said.

Skaistė said it was too early to say when there will be an agreement on the next round of sanctions. She pointed out that the sanctions have both a short-term and long-term goal: to lure Russian President Vladimir Putin to the negotiating table and weaken Russia’s economy so he can’t bolster his military.

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“If there will be no chance to reinforce their army, we would like to think that there will be no war in Europe,” he said.

Dombrovskis said it is important that existing sanctions are enforced, noting that they are working with EU member states as well as the broader international community.

“It is a fact that not all countries have joined those Western sanctions,” he said, noting that Beijing is “hedging their bets” and trying to push China and other nations “to be closer to our approach to Russia.” ”.

Skaistė said they are also focused on helping the Ukrainian government to survive in the short term and, in the long term, how to rebuild Ukraine more efficiently, which, in his opinion, “should be closely related to the accession process of Ukraine.” Ukraine to the European Union.

Both Skaistė and Dombrovskis expressed concern about Putin’s future goals if he is not decisively stopped in Ukraine.

Skaistė told CNN that Russia is trying to impose its influence on neighboring countries, noting that “it’s not the first time.”

“Russian propaganda, certain authorities, proxies do not hide that Russia plans to go further and if we do not stop them in Ukraine, they will invade other neighboring countries,” Dombrovskis said, calling it not only an attack on Ukraine but on European security in general. .

Asked if Europe would respond with the same unity if Moldova was attacked by Russia, Dombrovskis said they needed to focus on Ukraine right now, “because Putin will go as far as we let him go.”

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CNN’s Kylie Atwood contributed reporting to this post.



Reference-www.cnn.com

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