As a result of the annexation of Crimea and ongoing hostilities in the Donbas, the EU imposed three layers of economic and financial sanctions on Russia in 2014. In March, the time will come to discuss whether they should be renewed or not. As Moscow lobbies for them to be lifted, some EU member states are finding themselves vulnerable to this pressure for various domestic reasons, whilst others push for a harder line. We asked ECFR experts from several of our national offices to explain the factors behind this ongoing debate.
Greece does not rule out the possibility of vetoing new sanctions on Russia, but its foreign policy will likely remain aligned with that of the EU and NATO.
Sweden continues to support sanctions on Russia and the Swedish public is fully behind its government's hard line on Sweden's eastern neighbour.
Ireland’s calculus on sanctions is informed by its economic ties to Russia and its need to forge stronger EU ties ahead of a potential Brexit.
The UK supports sanctions, but the Ukraine crisis has become a political football in the campaign for the upcoming general elections.
Poland is more moderate on Russia policy than hawks might have hoped, preferring the use of sanctions to any military option.
Spain’s approach to sanctions against Russia has shifted as the crisis over Ukraine has escalated.
Bulgaria is divided on policy towards Russia, with security interests at the heart of its dilemma.
Italy has been hard hit by sanctions on Russia, but it has held the European line, while still promoting further dialogue.
Slovakia has taken steps to diversify its economic interests away from Russia, which has altered its calculus on sanctions.
Merkel's tireless diplomacy has made Germany the driver of EU policy on sanctions.
Austria is still sceptical about sanctions, but it will not challenge the bigger EU states without support.