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Newsline: EU diplomats eye deal on Russia sanctions

European Union countries will make another push to agree on a ninth package of sanctions against Moscow on Thursday after Poland and Lithuania blocked a deal over concerns it might benefit Russian oligarchs in the fertilizer business. The two countries rejected the package saying it would offer Russian oligarchs loopholes to evade EU sanctions, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis told reporters in Vilnius. Fresh sanctions on Moscow have been held up by disagreement over whether the EU should make it easier for Russian fertilizer exports to pass through European ports, even when the producers are owned by blacklisted oligarchs. As EU leaders gathered for the last summit of the year in Brussels, an EU diplomat said countries had moved closer to a deal and that a new sanctions draft was expected to be circulated on Thursday evening. (https://neuters.de/world/europe/eu-members-fail-reach-agreement-new-russia-sanctions-diplomats-2022-12-15/) Some say EU restrictions pose a food security threat to developing countries, while others argue that relaxing them would allow Russian oligarchs who own fertilizer businesses to dodge EU sanctions against them.

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