(MENAFN) According to a recent report by The Telegraph, officials in Brussels are considering imposing trade restrictions on certain Central Asian countries due to suspicions that they are aiding Russia in circumventing Western sanctions related to its military activities in Ukraine. The report cites a confidential paper, which alleges that officials monitoring trade flows to Moscow have observed an increase of up to 80% in consumer goods turnover between European Union member states and Central Asian countries.
This increase is reportedly linked to the export of goods from the European Union containing "dual-use" technologies, which can be utilized for both military and civilian purposes. Such items include washing machines, used cars, and cameras, all of which are among the European Union's prohibited items for export to Russia. The bloc has threatened to restrict market access for Central Asian nations that maintain ties with Russia if evidence is found that they are re-exporting goods to the sanction-hit country.
This development has significant implications for the European Union's ongoing efforts to hold Russia accountable for its actions in Ukraine. While the bloc has already imposed sanctions on Russia, the alleged assistance from Central Asian countries could undermine these efforts and prolong the conflict. As such, the European Union is likely to take a tough stance on any country found to be assisting Russia in circumventing sanctions. This could lead to increased tensions between the European Union and Russia, as well as between the European Union and Central Asian nations.
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