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The EU Countries Disagree On The Issue Of Toughening Sanctions Against Russia
July 21, 2014 16:17

The EU countries could expand sanctions towards “Putin's inner circle” as a measure taken against the RF. The UK, Poland and the Baltic states have long demanded this step, while France, Germany and Italy opposed this, fearing counter measures and negative impact on diplomatic relations. The EU countries still disagree on the need for stiffening sanctions against Russia, despite the pressure of a number of Western countries after the crash of the Malaysian airliner in Eastern Ukraine on July 17, the Financial Times magazine writes.

The USA and the EU imposed sanctions on a number of Russian politicians, businessmen and companies after the Crimea joined the Russian Federation in March on the basis of the referendum results. The Russian Foreign Ministry called the sanctions counterproductive. The West has repeatedly threatened to expand sanctions, including restrictions on exports of technologies for oil and gas sector to Russia. Washington wants the EU to be ready for new sanctions against Russia accused of interfering in the situation in Ukraine by the White House. Moscow has repeatedly stated that the Russian Federation is not a party to conflict in the Ukraine. Earlier the U.S. President Barack Obama said that Washington was “able to adopt new sanctions against Russia and was ready to do it”. The American leader discussed the possibility of new sanctions against Russia by phone with the FRG Chancellor Angela Merkel and the British Prime Minister David Cameron, in case Russia fails to take steps to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine. 

The split in Europe. Despite the stiffening of the rhetoric of the Western leaders against Russia after the plane crash and the death of 298 people, Europe remains split in relation to sanctions. According to the edition, one of the signs of this is the statement made by Merkel on Sunday, when she together with Cameron and the French leader Francois Hollande asked the Russian President Vladimir Putin to put pressure on the militias in order to create the conditions for an independent investigation. The statement of Merkel’s representative did not mention sanctions. At the same time the report of the Elysee Palace noted that the European leaders threatened with “consequences” if Moscow does not take these actions.

According to the newspaper, the EU countries could expand sanctions against “Putin's inner circle” as a measure against Russia. The UK, Poland and the Baltic states have long demanded this step, while France, Germany and Italy opposed this, fearing counter measures and negative impact on diplomatic relations. But there’s no consensus on this issue now. A European diplomat familiar with the negotiations said that he hoped that the EU countries would be more resolved after the plane crash. Other European officials also express the doubt that the plane crash in Eastern Ukraine will significantly influence the negotiations, as The Financial Times writes. 

Sanctions against MIC. In addition to sanctions against individuals, the EU Foreign Ministers may discuss measures against legal entities at the meeting on July 22. In particular, the sanctions can be applied to “Buk” ADMS, as the diplomatic source reported to the edition. Earlier the Russian Defense Ministry reported that it recorded the work of the Ukrainian radar station on the day of the Malaysian aircraft crash and named the Ukrainian settlements from where the airliner could have been shot down. As the Agency clarified, the route of the aircraft and the place of its crash fall into the damage area of the two batteries of Ukrainian long-range air defense missile system and the three batteries of medium-range air defense missile system “Buk-M1”.

The official representative of the Russian Defense Ministry said to RIA Novosti that neither “Buk” complex, nor any other weapons and military equipment of the Russian Armed Forces crossed the Russian boundary in the Ukrainian section. The interviewee of the agency noted that “it cannot be done secretly”. France and Germany opposed the embargo against the Russian defense industry which was insisted on by London and Warsaw at the EU summit last week.

Great Britain intends to express this requirement again, which means the transition to the third level sanctions (sanctions against entire sectors of the economy). However, France believes that the sanctions should remain on the second level (restrictive measures against individuals and individual companies), as an unnamed French official stated to the edition, emphasizing the importance of implementation a contract with Russia for the supply of “Mistral” helicopter carriers.

“The question of the contract for “Mistral” supply is not raised at the moment. The contract is being implemented so far” - the source of the edition claimed. The contract for the construction of two French “Mistral” helicopters for the Russian Navy worth 1.2 billion Euros was signed in June 2011. The first “Vladivostok” ship will be put into operation in the Russian Navy in 2014, the second one – “Sevastopol” - in 2015. 

Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: sanctions Russia International    

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