Outgoing US president Barack Obama agreed with the EU to Keep Sanctions on Russia. It was an agreement that neither may be able to live up to.

US president Barack Obama and EU leaders agreed on Friday to keep in place economic sanctions imposed on Russia over the Ukraine crisis, dispelling suggestions they might be eased because of president-elect Donald Trump’s expressed sympathies for Moscow.

The move by six government heads at an informal summit in Berlin hosted by chancellor Angela Merkel highlighted their commitment to close transatlantic cooperation amid concerns that Mr Trump’s election might bring divisions between the US and the EU, reports Stefan Wagstyl in Berlin.

Mr Obama, making a farewell visit, urged the EU leaders to work on common challenges with the incoming Trump administration “on the basis of the core values that define the United States and Europe as open democracies,” said the White House.

I am a firm believer in two things. Sanctions don’t work. Free trade does work.

I would love to see a statement by Trump that the sanctions against Russia will end day one. That would set the proper tone for NATO discussions.

The EU lost as much by those sanctions in loss of trade as it harmed Russia.

And speaking of the EU, those diplomats cannot guarantee anything. All it takes to sink sanctions on Russia is a single EU country that refuses to go along.

This lame duck agreement is nothing but more toothless tiger nonsense. For discussion, please see EU the Toothless Tiger, Totally Dysfunctional Until it Disintegrates Into Oblivion.

Note to EU, Obama: Promising something you cannot deliver is a bad idea. Promising something that might die within a month or two (either via Trump or a single EU nation) is not only arrogant, it’s downright stupid.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock