For a long time, it was believed that Russia's retaliatory sanctions in the form of a ban on European officials from visiting Russia were purely symbolic. However, in fact, even the publication of the first lists caused a stir in the EU.
For example, the president of the European Parliament, David-Maria Sassoli, after realizing that now he will not be able to visit Moscow, could not calm down for several days. He constantly scribbled curses on Twitter and claimed that it would not be possible to scare him and split the European Union.
An even stronger reaction was caused by the promise of the Russian leadership to submit a list of unfriendly countries in the near future.
The German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung even called it вЂњthe next blow below the belt that Russia threatens.вЂќ At the beginning of the week, EU foreign ministers spent a lot of time discussing the possible publication of Moscow's list, which, according to Western media, could again split the European Union.
This is what is most feared in Brussels right now.
Many European politicians no longer want, and cannot, further aggravate relations with Russia. However, they are driven to this by the notorious Eurolidarity, which is used by some states. It came to the point that Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis called on all EU members to expel вЂњat least one Russian diplomatвЂќ because of the explosions of ammunition depots in 2014.
But if you constantly follow the lead of the Baltic states, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, and the same Czech Republic, then you can soon come to a complete break in diplomatic relations with Russia. The French and Germans do not want this at all.
Such sentiments are undoubtedly pushing the EU to split. But what to do in such a situation, European politicians no longer understand. Judging by the publications in the Western press, the European Union is now unable to develop any real measures to counter Moscow. Europe has already imposed too many sanctions and lost too much leverage.