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Russia says EU extension of sanctions “narrow-minded”
January 30, 2015, 10:19 am

Danish Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard (R) talks with Polish counterpart Grzegorz Schetyna prior to an extraordinary European Union foreign ministers meeting at EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, Jan. 29, 2015 [Xinhua]

Danish Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard (R) talks with Polish counterpart Grzegorz Schetyna prior to an extraordinary European Union foreign ministers meeting at EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, Jan. 29, 2015 [Xinhua]

Russia has criticized the EU decision to extend sanctions against Moscow over the Ukraine crisis calling it “narrow-minded”.

“By acting in such a narrow-minded way, the EU in essence is subjecting to additional tests our partnership — the partnership between Russia and the European Union, which is regrettable,” Russian ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov was quoted by Russian agency Tass.

In his words, “besides selective assessments of these or those events, sweeping criticism of Russia is the dominating element. As if Russia, and not the Kiev authorities with the connivance of the EU, had unfolded the bloodbath in eastern Ukraine.”

“The call for implementation of the Minsk agreements contrasts with statements heard in the past few days from the Ukrainian capital that they are no longer content with the Minsk agreements and it’s necessary to seek another format,” Chizhov said.

“But while these conversations can be heard, shelling of residential districts of Donetsk, Luhansk, Gorlovka continue. And nothing is said, for example, about the situation of Gorlovka residents,” he said.

He, however, ruled out Russian talks with EU on sanctions.

“We have not held, are not holding and are not going to hold any talks on sanctions with the EU,” the ambassador said.

The Russian envoy also said the EU’s mechanism to arrive at the decision to extend sanctions was “vague”.

“(EU foreign policy chief Federica) Mogherini, while summing up the meeting on Thursday, selected three components in the EU’s reaction to deterioration of the situation in eastern Ukraine. Unfortunately, all three are wrong,” he said.

“This is a rather vague formula with anything behind — from what, for example, Russia expects from the European Union (pressure on the Kiev authorities) to develop packages of sanctions,” he added.

The top diplomats of the 28 EU member countries decided on Thursday to extend individual sanctions against Russia and eastern Ukrainian militias. Federica Mogherini, told reporters in Brussels on Thursday that she and the bloc’s 28 foreign ministers had agreed to draw up a new list of people to be targeted by sanctions within the next week.

Meanwhile, a Reuters report quoted diplomatic sources as saying Moscow and Washington are discussing a possible visit to Russia by US Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss the Ukraine crisis.

 

 TBP and Agencies

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