Berlin “has turned into Budapest,” diplomats have claimed to the DPA news agency FILE PHOTO: Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz arrives for a meeting of the European Council in Brussels. © AFP / Ludovic Marin

Germany is holding up talks on the EU’s 14th round of sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine conflict, the DPA news agency has reported, citing diplomats in Brussels.

The new restrictions being discussed by the 27 members of the bloc are aimed at preventing Moscow from bypassing previous sanctions imposed over the conflict, the outlet said on Thursday.

According to unnamed EU diplomats, Berlin’s objections and requests for changes have been a “decisive factor” in stalling the introduction of fresh curbs against Russia.

The government of Chancellor Olaf Scholz is reportedly most concerned by plans for subsidiaries of EU firms to be held liable in the event that sanctions on Russia are violated. Berlin wants the measure to be limited to certain goods or canceled altogether over fears that it may lead to German firms ending up being penalized, they explained.

The diplomats complained that “it recently felt like Germany had become the new Hungary,” referring to Budapest’s consistent opposition to the EU imposing curbs on Russia, DPA reported.

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The 13th round of the bloc’s sanctions on Moscow was announced in late February, targeting 106 individuals and 88 entities mainly in Russia’s military and defense sectors. Some companies located in third countries such as India, China, and Türkiye also faced restrictions.

The EUobserver outlet reported last month that Brussels planned to agree the 14th round of sanctions by the end of June.

On Wednesday, the US announced a new sanctions package against 300 additional individuals and entities in Russia and other countries, including China, Türkiye, and the UAE, who are accused by Washington of having links to Moscow’s “war economy” and allowing it to evade Western embargos.

The restrictions are a “dynamic affair” because Russian President Vladimir Putin is “a very capable adversary who is willing to adapt and find those willing collaborators,” the US State Department’s director for economic sanctions policy and implementation, Aaron Forsberg, told the AP.

On the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) last week, Putin stressed that the US and EU thought that their curbs will “undermine the Russian economy, and believed that this would happen within three, four, six months, but everyone sees that this is not happening.” The president announced earlier this year that despite Russia being the most sanctioned country in the world, its GDP has increased by 3.6% and was “higher than the global average” in 2023. (RT)