"[EU sanctions] have avoided any outright bans or tariffs on Russian exports," said Ian Bond. "Paradoxically, the fact that the EU has not really gone down the line of the so-called sectoral sanctions … may actually make it much more difficult for the Russians to make a case in the WTO."
The ban on foodstuffs underscored Russia's dramatic retreat from the West under Putin this year. "It's symptomatic of a much deeper economic and psychological change going on, which is that Russia is being cut off," said Charles Grant of the CER.
Charles Grant of the CER wrote that during the euro crisis Germany became the EU’s “unquestioned leader” on economic policy. “In foreign and security policy, Britain and France have generally set the EU agenda. The Ukraine crisis, however, may allow Germany to lead in this field, too.”
Charles Grant of the CER comments that in order to maximize Europe’s leverage vis-à-vis Russia, the Commission should work with the European External Action Service and the key member-states to herd the member states towards a coherent approach.