Day 70 Roundup: EU Proposes Fresh Sanctions on Russian Oil; Mariupol Evacuations Continue

    Photo: AP Photos [via AP News]

    The Facts

    • The European Commission Pres. Ursula von der Leyen announced on Wed. that the EU is proposing a new round of sanctions against Russian oil. The package will have to be approved by EU ambassadors, but is reportedly set to be signed off in the next few days.

    • The move is expected to impose a complete embargo on Russian oil imports into the bloc, to be phased in over 6-8 months. Hungary and Slovakia, which are almost 100% dependent on Russian oil, will be allowed extra time. Hungary, nevertheless, has called the proposal unacceptable and said it will veto it in its current form.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    Sanctions send a clear message to Putin and the perpetrators of his illegal war: Russia will be held accountable for its actions and its economy will not be allowed to grow as long as it continues to fundamentally threaten democracy through this brutal invasion.

    Narrative B

    Almost two months after the US and its allies weaponized the financial system to impose the harshest ever sanctions on Russia, the invasion is still continuing and the Russian ruble is up against the US dollar compared to pre-war levels. Although some economic sanctions are yet to bite the Russian economy, the efficacy of this strategy may need reevaluating.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    It's hypocritical to impose sanctions on Russia for invading Ukraine, but not on the US for invading Iraq for equally unjustified reasons, or on Israel for invading and annexing Arab lands.

    Nerd narrative

    There is an 88% chance that Russia will be the most sanctioned country in the world by Feb. 22, 2023, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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