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EU imposes new sanctions on Russia
September 11, 2014, 8:12 pm

EU Council President Herman van Rompuy had previously said the sanctions - which go into effect Friday - were designed to persuade Russia to remove itself as a "destablizing" factor in eastern Ukraine [Xinhua]

EU Council President Herman van Rompuy had previously said the sanctions – which go into effect Friday – were designed to persuade Russia to remove itself as a “destablizing” factor in eastern Ukraine [Xinhua]


The European Union Council decided on Thursday to go ahead with a new set of sanctions targeting Russian banks, firms, officials and companies operating on the continent.

The new sanctions, which had been prepared over the past two weeks but never announced as a ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine went into effect, are designed to further pressure Moscow to limit its engagement in the country where a de facto civil war has raged since mid-April.

EU Council President Herman van Rompuy had previously said the sanctions – which go into effect Friday – were designed to persuade Russia to remove itself as a “destablizing” factor in eastern Ukraine.

The EU, Kiev and the US have accused Russia of pouring soldiers and weapons into eastern Ukraine over the past few weeks – a strategy, they claim, which helped turn the tide in the favor of pro-Moscow rebels looking to secede from the rest of the country.

On Thursday, US President Barack Obama said Washington was set to increase sanctions against Russia, blaming Moscow for destabilizing its southern neighbor.

“We are watching closely developments since the announcement of the ceasefire and agreement in Minsk, but we have yet to see conclusive evidence that Russia has ceased its efforts to destabilize Ukraine,” Obama said.

Russia has denied sending soldiers and weapons across the border into Ukraine.

But Aleksei Gromyko, the acting director of the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told Russian news agency Rossiaya Segodnya on Thursday that the new sanctions are likely to have little effect and will be largely “symbolic”.

Nevertheless, Russian President Vladimir Putin fired back at the EU and US on Thursday and said that they were to blame for the current war in the Ukraine.

“The crisis in Ukraine, which was basically provoked and created by some of our Western partners, is now being used to resuscitate this military [NATO] bloc,” Putin was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying during a government meeting on the development of the state arms procurement program for 2016-2025.

He said Moscow would not take lightly NATO’s “expansion” and said:”We will have to do everything to guarantee our safety”.

Peace plan

Meanwhile, neighboring Belarus has offered to host a follow-up meeting of Russia, Ukraine, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’ s Republics (DPR and LPR) to ensure the success of the ceasefire agreement reached last week.

The ceasefire came into effect in eastern Ukraine on September 5 after Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed a seven-point peace plan for the region, with the first step being an immediate ceasefire between separatist rebels and Ukrainian forces.

The ceasefire appears to be holding.

In a bid to turn the ceasefire into a permanent peace plan and political solution to the Ukraine crisis, Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann announced on Thursday that he is ready to mediate between all sides of the conflict.

“If one wants to prevent war, one has to put in motion political activities in order to prevent military ones,” he told a local newspaper.

He said he is ready to meet with officials in Brussels and Kiev and speak with Putin.

Source: Agencies

2 Responses to EU imposes new sanctions on Russia

  1. Jodem54 Reply

    September 17, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    I think that the European Union and the US are the biggest problem, because Russia does not want NATO on its borders and the Ukranian people should forget all about their not so great past with Russia. Russia can help Ukraine more than the western Europe or the US.

  2. Osmo Reply

    September 25, 2014 at 4:21 am

    Putin has stated that his goal is to rebuild the former Soviet Union. That is what this is all about. That should be on the table, and Putin should be convinced that not rebuilding it is beneficial to Russia. He also has stated that he wants respect. That is what street thugs always want. This is a problem. Nobody respects a bully, yet he can’t see that, believing that only showing power builds respect. Nothing Putin does builds respect for him as a person in the eyes of the west. He always has anterior motives and this man is not to be trusted. He is a dictator.

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