World Bulletin/News Desk
As European Union members prepare to put sanctions into force against Russia, some EU members, particularly those strongly tied to the former Soviet Union, have expressed concerns as to what the effect on their economies might be.
The Czech Republic and Slovakia are two who have stopped short of calling for sanctions against Russia because Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka explained cutting its trade ties with Russia would be disastrous for them.
Likewise, Slovakian President Ivan Gasparovic said during a press briefing that his country "could not afford to make any solo moves in this situation." Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico also said that a tough stance over Russia could hurt Slovak businesses including car exports and imports of gas and oil.
However, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has stated that the EU must reduce its dependence on Russian oil and defended the sanctions.
"We will not be able to efficiently fend off any potential aggressive steps by Russia in the future, if so many European countries are dependent on Russian gas deliveries or wade into such dependence," Tusk said.
The West so far has only strongly criticized Russia's aggression in Crimea, which has taken place after the ousting of the pro-Russian former president Viktor Yanukovych.Last Mod: 12 Mart 2014, 00:27