European Union foreign ministers will try to agree on further sanctions on Russia and Iran and an additional 2 billion euros ($2.11 billion) for arms deliveries to Ukraine at a meeting in Brussels on Monday.
However, it remained unclear whether Hungary will block some decisions, resorting to what diplomats have denounced as “blackmail diplomacy” due to a dispute over locked EU funds for Budapest.
“There is an agreement, in principle, but there’s also the big elephant in the room,” a senior EU diplomat told reporters, referring to Budapest’s use of its veto power. “It’s a type of blackmail diplomacy that we would rather not see but it is what it is.”
Foreign ministers are due to review new sanctions on Iranian people and organizations over human rights abuses in Tehran’s crackdown on protesters and the supply of drones to Russia.
“We are going to approve a very tough package of sanctions”, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said ahead of the meeting. The EU “will take any action we can to support young women and peaceful demonstrators.”
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said the sanctions would target Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, among others.
“With this sanctions package, we are targeting, in particular, those who are responsible for the executions, the violence against innocent people…these are especially the Revolutionary Guards,” she told reporters in Brussels.
Baerbock spoke after Tehran executed a second man involved in anti-government protests following calls by the Revolutionary Guards for Iran’s judiciary to act swiftly and decisively.