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11 July, 2014 16:44   ▪  

Ukraine disappointed with EU sanctions against Russia

Kostiantyn Yelisieiev, Head of the Mission of Ukraine to the EU, is disappointed with the EU’s decision on sanctions against Russia

This was his comment on the COREPER’s decision to add 11 more people to the list of Russians sanctioned by the EU.

“Given the conclusions of the European Councl dated June 27, and the signing of the Association Agreement with the EU, we counted on more decisive and significant sanctions, including the transfer to the third level,” Yelisieiev recollected his appeal to the EU leaders to apply tougher sanctions against Moscow with regard to the imprisonment of the Ukrainian pilot Nadia Savchenko.

“Despite the escalation of the Russian aggression against Ukraine and numerous proofs of its direct interference and coordination of terrorists with the Moscow government, the current restrictive measures [on part of the EU] do nothing but add separatists to the list of people sanctioned already. This “progress” in deterring the aggressor is either imitation or a process for the sake of the process,” he believes.

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Personally, Yelisieiev has an impression that some EU member-states are involved in double-dealing.

“I have no other explanation for the fact that, for instance, a foreign minister of one member-state goes to Moscow right after a visit to Moscow and invites the Kremlin’s leadership to take part in ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) to be held on October 16-17, while representatives of two other influential member-states not only campaign against the third level of sanctions but are by all means pushing Ukraine to negotiations with terrorists who refuse to lay down arms, kidnap Ukrainian citizens and continue to keep their hostages,” the diplomat said to back his opinion.

Meanwhile, he still hopes that the EU will quit its “wait-and-see approach and demonstrate a solid stance” after the meeting of to the European Council to take place on July 16.  

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“This is not hard to do: the only thing to be done for that is to analyze how Moscow is meeting the Council’s demands of June 27 – and the lack of any progress is obvious. The EU has spent over 10 years persuading Ukraine that democratic values matter more than economic or trade benefits. On July 22, we will get another portion of such lecturing at the ministerial meeting with 28 EU member-states and 6 Eastern Partnership states. Today, the EU has a chance to confirm its commitment to the approach it preaches in action,” Yelisieiev said.

Earlier, COREPER passed a decision to add 11 people to the list of those sanctioned with bans for entry and freezing of assets.

US President Barack Obama reportedly is reluctant to apply sanctions against Russia without the support of European partners.

Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State, said that the US Government is not imposing new restrictions against Russia since it prefers to act in close cooperation with European allies.

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