February 28, 2021

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A dance between sanctions and the Sputnik vaccine. Not sure how to approach Russia to the EU

“Russian embarrassment” prevailed in EU countries, including the Czech Republic. Leaders condemn the trial of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was sentenced by a court to 3.5 years in prison (including Navalny for 2 years and 8 months). However, they also criticize the street repression against his supporters. And they want to tighten trade barriers.

However, Russia currently plays a key role in modern “nuclear power plants”, namely in the production and distribution of the corona virus vaccine. Russian Sputnik V is looking for a way to the European market. Hungary has already taken advantage of this opportunity, and Chechnya is seriously considering buying out of the joint EU plan. In the Czech Republic, this is the completion of Ducovny and in our German neighborhoods, across Europe, it is the completion of the Nord Stream 2 oil pipeline.

How do the criticism of the Russian regime and the threat of sanctions go hand in hand with negotiated trade?

The head of Czech diplomacy did not see the conflict of interest. “The vaccine is not about politics,” says Tom Pedek (ČSSD) of the News List. “No one is saying that trade with Russia should be stopped completely,” he said when asked if sanctions were in conflict with the vaccine trade. If the European EMA approves the Sputnik vaccine, Bettek does not see a reason why it should not be used in our country.

At the same time, however, Bettek harshly criticizes Alexei Navalny’s investigation: “It is entirely fair to call him a political investigator. The fact that states such as Germany, Great Britain or the United States are seeking the release of Alexei Navalny shows how the court was conducted and that there are legitimate doubts about the status of the law in Russia, “said OT.

“Tightening sanctions and buying vaccines are certainly in conflict. The first meeting of foreign ministers failed because they did not agree. For example, I can not imagine the Hungarian foreign minister supporting sanctions against Russia,” said Franடிoiszek, chairman of the Commonwealth of Independent States Economic Relations Board. , To Cesnam Srivi in ​​the opposite attitude.

Czech President Milos Zeman visited Russia in 2017.

Dugovani again …

Trade cooperation between the Czech Republic and Russia is not just about vaccines. The workings of the Dugovani nuclear power plant have long been discussed. Rosatom, a Russian company, is one of the bidders for the tender. However, the Czech secret services did not recommend cooperation with Russia (but with China). State President Milos Zeman did not accept this.

After all, he called Western criticism of Moscow over Navalny a “mischief.” Rudolf Zintrak, head of the foreign ministry of the President of the Republic, declined to comment on the list of reports, the two events in Russia and the current state of Russia-Czech trade relations. He also declined to comment on the differing views of the President’s Office and the Foreign Ministry.

However, another “action” was taken by the Foreign Ministry on Wednesday, which summoned Russian Ambassador Alexander Smeevsky. “Attempts to pressure the judiciary in our country from abroad can not be felt any differently than are hostile acts in violation of international law,” the Russian embassy ČTK said.

Meanwhile, the highest levels of Czech politics are openly talking about the possibility of buying the Spotnik V vaccine. “On Friday, I fly to Budapest to see Victor Orban (). The headlines are clear: vaccines, their experience with the Sputnik vaccine and the new drug Pamlon (…), ”Czech Prime Minister Andrzej Babik (yes) tweeted on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Babik has not yet commented on the trial of Navalny.

Germany and the North Stream2

The Czech Republic is certainly not the only EU member to equalize the diplomatic threat of sanctions to pursue a successful trade with Russia.

“If the vaccine is effective and safe, it will help us fight the epidemic, regardless of country,” German Health Minister Jens Spann told the DPA on Sunday.

“Alexei Navalny should be released immediately. The verdict is against the rule of law.” Tweet However, on Wednesday, German Foreign Minister Haiko Mass.

Like the Czech Republic and Germany, a large business has long been addressed that is not associated with the Govt-19 vaccine. This is the completion of the Nord Stream 2 oil pipeline, which supplies natural gas from Russia to Western Europe. President Angela Merkel has repeatedly said that despite the current geopolitical events, it is necessary to complete the pipeline. He faced criticism directly in the country, for example from the Greens, but also from party colleague Norbert Rodgen.

However, members of the European Parliament, Poland and France have long condemned the North Stream project.

Postage European Union

“I call on Russia to fulfill its international obligations and release Alexei Navalny immediately and unconditionally.” Tweeted European Commission President Ursula van der Leyen on Tuesday evening.

Joseph Borel is expected to have a critical outlook on Russia from the beginning of his term. Unlike his predecessor Mogherini, who sought to strengthen Russia-EU relations. Although Borrell has been close to Russia in the past, he supported sanctions and assured him before taking office that he would like to maintain sanctions.

Meanwhile, Russia is trying to enter the European market with the Sputnik V vaccine. Russian authorities have already officially applied to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for approval of the Russian vaccine. Hungary, for example, has already purchased one million doses of Spotnik V outside the European mass vaccination process. However, Wednesday She announced The Hungarian medical room “cannot recommend the use of the vaccine”.

However, the approval of the European EMA has not yet been confirmed. But for the European Commission to consider purchasing a vaccine, it must have a green light from this company. As the list of reports has been confirmed by the European Commission, one of the criteria for doing business with a vaccine manufacturer is that it must have at least one factory in the EU. Therefore, at present, at the EMA level, this is only a “scientific evaluation” of the vaccine. Although Sputnik V is EMA approved, it is not a purchased “dedication”.

Germany has shown interest in possible cooperation in Russian vaccine production. The public station MDR said on Tuesday that Russia was in talks with Saxony-Anholt-based German company IDT Biologica about cooperation.

The European Commission also responds to SZ’s questions by saying that “the approval of the vaccine is purely scientific and has nothing to do with politics.” However, he acknowledged that events in Russia surrounding Alexei Navalny’s investigation were a high priority on the union’s agenda and could “cause a serious cooling of EU-Russia relations.”