April 12, 2022

CRS Reviews EU's Responses to Russian Invasion

Michael T. Gershberg Commentary by Michael T. Gershberg

The Congressional Research Service ("CRS") reviewed the EU's responses to Russia's invasion of Ukraine and discussed the implications for U.S.-EU relations.

Of the actions taken, CRS specifically noted:

  • the multiple sanctions imposed against Russia to interfere with its ability to finance the war;

  • the EU's funding of $1.1 billion to bolster Ukraine's military;

  • the "temporary protection mechanism" designed to aid Ukrainian refugees by affording them "access to benefits throughout the EU"; and

  • the EU's decision to block broadcasting from certain Russian media outlets to stop the spread of Russian disinformation.

Additionally, CRS acknowledged both the U.S. and the EU's efforts to "diminish Russia's economic base" and how that has strengthened U.S.-EU relations.

With respect to the future of U.S.-EU relations, CRS noted areas of congressional interest in future EU initiatives, which include but are not limited to (i) stronger military capabilities in the EU, (ii) the development of "clean energy technologies and renewables" and (iii) expanding EU membership.


U.S.-EU coordination in the face of Russian aggression in Ukraine (along with other Western allies) has been a notable achievement. Economic sanctions are far more effective when they are multilateral, and the situation has served to enhance U.S.-EU cooperation in security, economic and energy matters.

However, cooperation can only go so far when the sides' fundamental economic interests diverge. That is the case with European dependence on Russian oil and gas, which will presumably prevent significant further EU sanctions against the Russian energy sector in the short term.

Email me about this

Premium Content

Available only to Premium subscribers.