EU Foreign Policy Chief Says No Decision Expected on Anti-Russia Sanctions
EU Foreign Ministers will not make any decisions regarding sanctions against Moscow, but will continue an ongoing discussion on the issue, the union's foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said Monday.
"The point of the discussion is not our support to Ukraine - that stays strong and firm; it is not a decision on sanctions - don't expect anything like that today. It's a follow-up of the discussion we had in November already in the Foreign Affairs Council and in December with the Heads of States and Governments," Mogherini told journalists upon arrival at the Foreign Affairs Council.
According to Mogherini, decisions regarding sanctions will only be based on the implementation of the Minsk agreement, which was struck in September 2014, stipulating a ceasefire between the independence supporters and Kiev.
"And in these days obviously the coming back of violence in the East of Ukraine is definitely not good news. What we will discuss today is the ways in which the European Union's tools and the instruments we have, apart from sanctions, can be used in a more coordinated way and in a more effective way," Mogherini said, following new reports of Kiev shelling Donetsk and Luhansk over the weekend.
Since the beginning of the military conflict in Ukraine last year, Kiev and the West have accused Moscow of intervening in the crisis. Moscow has repeatedly denied those allegations. The United States, the European Union and their allies imposed several rounds of sanctions on Russia blaming it for meddling in the conflict. The sanctions target individuals accused of escalating the crisis, as well as Russia's banking, energy and defense sectors.