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Europe’s Push to Punish Putin Is Falling Short of the Rhetoric

  • Hungary is blocking sanctions, but others are also wavering
  • Leaders summit on Monday will seek to make some progress
Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin in Moscow.

Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin in Moscow.

Photographer: Natalia Kolesnikoa/AFP/Getty Images

As the European Union’s impasse over its supposedly imminent Russian oil embargo stretched into days and then weeks, one ambassador quoted Samuel Beckett’s play “Waiting for Godot” to his colleagues: “Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it’s awful!”

Diplomats and officials are getting increasingly frustrated the EU may be reaching the limits of the short-term pain it can inflict on Russia already three months after its invasion of Ukraine.