An extraordinary meeting of the Council of the EU on March 3, 2014 condemned “the illegal annexation of Crimea and deliberate destabilisation of a neighbouring sovereign country” as well as the authorisation given by the Federation Council of Russia on March 1, 2014 for the use of the armed forces on the territory of Ukraine. The EU called on Russia to immediately withdraw its armed forces to the areas of their permanent stationing. In the meantime, the EU imposed restrictive measures against the Russian Federation.
Faced with the security crisis in Ukraine, the EU and its member states have responded with a double-track approach combining diplomacy and sanctions. While the option of using military force was excluded, economic sanctions were the hardest form of power that the EU could apply, alongside softer diplomatic measures. As such, the EU was exerting its economic weight against a major regional and global player and important trading partner.
As EU diplomacy failed to persuade Russia to retract on its actions in Ukraine, namely its illegal annexation of territory and the deliberate destabilization of a sovereign state, the EU gradually extended its sanctions in the period of March to September 2014. The confrontation was exacerbated by Ukraine’s aspirations towards the Western model of democracy and the rule of law, as opposed to Russia’s authoritarian system. The EU has found itself in a geopolitical confrontation with a major regional power, which is nevertheless its largest neighbour and an important trading Partner.
Read EU-Russia sanctions by Tanja Porčnik.
About the Ralf Dahrendorf Taskforce:
The Ralf Dahrendorf Taskforce on the Future of the European Union provides a platform for ELF member organisations to discuss liberal proposals for the reform of the EU institutions and the future of the European integration process. The recommendations produced by working groups will be gathered in a publication presenting liberal recommendations for the future of the EU.
The work of the Taskforce is structured in four working groups:
- WG I: Reform of the EU institutions – re-Democratisation of the EU
- WG II: Foreign, Security and Defence – strong cooperation for a stronger Europe in the world
- WG III: Protecting civil liberties – a liberal footprint for Europe
- WG IV: Financial and economic crisis – liberal solutions for a Europe that work
Find the previous publications of our Dahrendorf Taskforce series here:
Liberal perspective on energy and Environment, 09.06.2015
Everything flows and nothing abides, 12.05.2015
On the Right to Be Forgotten, 17.03.2015
Ukraine as a bridge to Russia, 03.03.2015
Photo credits: FNF-Europe