It looks like three EU member countries, Hungary, Greece, and Cyprus, are all quietly dropping the economic sanctions the Obama administration had sweet-talked/arm-wrestled the EU into imposing on Russia. This can be gleaned from a recent RT report that Russia has begun quality control on agricultural items from Hungary, Greece and India before it begins imports. In the same RT report, Aleksey Alekseenko, the head of Russia’s food inspectorate Rosselkhoznadzor, added that products from Cyprus will undergo similar tests this week.
Earlier on, Greece, Cyprus and Hungary had all asked Russia to either reduce or cancel the embargo on food imports from these countries.
Moscow has, understandably, refused to extend such favours to those who’ve attacked Russia economically by means of the sanctions EU imposed on it last year. Instead, during Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ visit to Moscow two weeks ago, Russian President Putin suggested that one way interested countries could get around the counter-sanctions currently in place is to set up joint ventures with Russian companies.
The quality-control on Hungarian, Greek and Cypriot products which Russia is now carrying out can therefore be taken to signal the willingness of these three EU countries to take up Putin’s offer and by-pass the counter-sanctions Russia had placed on the countries who, at Washington’s instigation, had first used economic sanctions against it.
It’s encouraging to see that some European governments seem to moving on independently of both Washington and Brussels to begin looking after their own citizens’ economic needs and interests, after all.