(MENAFN) Slovakia, a member state of the European Union, has voiced its opposition to a potential component of the 12th package of European Union sanctions on Russia. The Slovak Foreign Minister, Juraj Blanar, announced on Saturday that the government will not endorse restrictions on imports of nuclear fuel from Russia, asserting that such a provision is a "red line" for the country. Blanar emphasized that Slovakia's nuclear power plants currently lack the capability to switch to alternative fuel, making the proposed ban on nuclear fuel a critical concern.
While signaling a willingness to support other elements of the debated sanctions package, Blanar raised doubts about the overall effectiveness of the European Union's sanctions policy against Russia. He argued that the previous 11 packages of sanctions failed to deter Russia, and instead, the European Union's economy is moving towards recession. Blanar further claimed that the sanctions intended to target Moscow have led to a surge in prices for food and fuel in Slovakia.
Slovakia, along with Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and Hungary, relies on Russia for critical nuclear fuel for Soviet-designed reactors. Russia, possessing approximately 50 percent of the world's uranium enrichment infrastructure essential for nuclear fuel production, plays a significant role in supplying these countries. Blanar's statement underscores the interconnectedness of energy dependencies and the challenges faced by European Union member states in diversifying their energy sources.
As European Union authorities work on formulating the new set of sanctions against Russia, expected to target 120 individuals and entities, Slovakia's position introduces a layer of complexity to the consensus-building process within the union. The reluctance to endorse restrictions on nuclear fuel imports highlights the nuanced nature of European Union sanctions and the need for member states to balance geopolitical considerations with domestic energy requirements.
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