If you ask a random EU official if the bloc should continue trying to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, you will invariably get a positive answer.
The sanction potential is reaching its end, but this is no reason for the EU to relieve the pressure, that official will say, as many have in conversations with the media.
And yet, the EU has quietly begun to unwind its sanctions against Moscow.
The UK's Express called it caving in to Putin. Bloomberg dubbed it "corrections to previous sanctions." Whatever it is called, it comes down to the same thing: the EU is loosening the noose. And it's not just the EU, either.
For starters, the European Union decided to add exemptions to Russian sanctions, which would allow countries from outside the bloc to deal with sanctioned Russian entities, including banks and state companies such as Rosneft. Per the Bloomberg report, these exemptions are for entities "deemed essential to shipments of food, agricultural goods and oil to third countries outside the EU".
The EU appears to be putting a lot of effort into convincing whoever is listening that their sanctions against Russia have absolutely nothing to do with either food or energy supply disruptions or, at the very least, they did not aim for them to happen.