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19 February, 2014 18:27   ▪  

Belgium, Lithuania and Poland support EU individual sanctions against some Ukrainians

More and more EU member-states support sanctions against Ukrainian authorities. Poland Prime Minister Donald Tusk said in the Parliament that it is time to impose sanctions against Ukrainian top officials

“Sanctions are moral reaction rather than an instrument that can have a positive effect,” he said. “If the developments in Ukraine evolve as tragically as they do now, sanctions will definitely now help to build agreement in the country.”

“However, sanctions may be a necessary gesture of solidarity and a signal for those in power that the reserve of patience is exhausted and certain limits have been crossed,” he noted. “The victims of violence need that gesture, that form of support.”

According to Tusk, sanctions will not affect decisions of the Ukrainian government and will not lead to an honest dialogue, however “it is time when people that could be facing days, months, maybe years of a difficult struggle that sometimes will seem hopeless, matter more.”

“When I talk to the leaders of European states and institutions in the next days, I will urge them to impose sanctions that should hit those who caused Ukraine’s disaster. I hope Poland’s stance will facilitate the EU to take the decision quickly,” Tusk explained.

Belgium Foreign Minister Didier Reynders said that Belgium would support EU sanctions against Ukrainian authorities. “It is time to go to another stage – the sanctions,” Belgian news agency Belga quotes the Minister. He strongly condemned violence against protesters and called it unacceptable.

The EU should be unanimous to impose sanctions, which it is currently now,” he said.

“I know that my German colleague shares my opinion. I can see a similar response from my Swedish colleague. We must try to convince as many colleagues as possible to join us,” Belgian Foreign Minister said.

This is not sanctions for the sake of sanctions, but “sanctions for the sake of starting a dialogue” he noted.

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite also supports sanctions.

“What is taking place in Ukraine cannot be justified. It is criminal. This (definition) concerns both side – the government and part of the opposition,” Grybauskaite said.

“Serious sanctions about the entire Ukraine” are on the agenda of the international community, she believes.

“There will be no support to the government or the opposition that allows such actions unless bloodshed and use of force stops,” Grybaustaikte said.  

German Foreign Minister Frank Walter-Steinmeier also said sanctions could be imposed against some individuals linked to the escalation of tension in Ukraine.

“Whoever is responsible for decisions leading to bloodshed in downtown Kyiv or other parts of Ukraine should take into account the fact that Europe could revise its moderate stance on sanctions,” he said.

Catherine Ashton summoned an extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council where sanctions against Ukrainian government will be considered, media report.

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