Ahto Lobjakas, RFE/RL
LUXEMBOURG -- The European Union's curious history of applying punitive sanctions on non-member states is likely to prove short-lived. After EU foreign ministers decided on October 27 to remove all remaining restrictions on Uzbekistan, which has one of the world's most repressive regimes, the end of the whole idea of sanctions cannot be far away.
Sanctions are a relative recent addition to the armory of what was, until the 1990s, essentially a trading bloc. The end of the Cold War brought about a quickening of the EU's political pulse. The waves of enlargement which followed added a sense of mission.
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The EU's Learning Curve Heralds Beginning Of End Of Sanctions