BRUSSELS, June 8. /TASS/. Greece and Hungary have moved to block the latest draft of Brussels’ 11th package of sanctions against Russia at a meeting of the Committee of Permanent Representatives of the EU, Belgium’s RTBF TV reported.
Budapest and Athens are demanding that a number of companies be removed from the list of those supporting Russia's efforts to bypass Western sanctions.
However, according to the TV channel, the EU countries have no systemic objections to the latest round of sanctions put forward by the European Commission (EC).
Earlier, the European edition of US newspaper Politico reported, citing sources, said that the discussion of sanctions was postponed for a week until June 14.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell repeatedly announced in May that the 11th package of sanctions would focus on tightening sanctions enforcement mechanisms as part of a campaign to stymie Russia's efforts to break the sanctions blockade. According to the EU officials, sanctions should be imposed on companies from third countries that re-export sanctioned goods to Russia.
In late May, a number of European media and diplomatic sources reported that the EC’s initial draft set of sanctions had been rejected and sent back for revision by the EU member countries, which fear that such measures will only serve to isolate the EU in the world.
On Thursday, Politico also quoted Jim O'Brien, head of the US State Department Office of Sanctions Coordination, who stated that shipments of microchips and key electronic components to Russia have already returned to the level seen before the start of the special military operation in Ukraine, despite Western efforts to block them via sanctions. The newspaper noted that Russia is improving its ability to counter Western sanctions.