Ukraine and the European Union must consolidate the international pressure against the aggressor-country and strengthen the policy of sanctions. The Ukrainian government portal reports that this was discussed during the meeting of the Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman with the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini.
“We appreciate the readiness of our partners in the EU to support Ukraine in the conditions of the new aggression by Russia in the Azov and Black Seas. That is why consolidation of international pressure and strengthening of sanctions against Russia is needed, primarily with the aim of releasing 24 Ukrainian seamen and three military vessels captured by Russia, said Volodymyr Groysman. Moscow has crossed the line. The EU reaction to Russia’s aggression in the Azov Sea must be comprehensive and resolute.
The EU High Representative noted that Brussels would support Ukraine, and the recent decision of the EU Council to extend the sanctions is the confirmation of this position.
Groysman said that the main topic of talks with Mogherini was the situation in the Azov Sea. “I suggested that our partners consider the position of mirror sanctions. If the Russians stop ships in the Kerch Strait, then mirror sanctions should be imposed. This is the only way the aggressor will understand exactly what they are doing against us. The other issue is infrastructure. We have offered to send an assessment mission to evaluate the infrastructure development projects of the Azov region and Eastern Ukraine.”
The European Union decided to extend economic sanctions against Russia for six months. The president of the Council of Europe Donald Tusk explained the decision by the lack of progress in implementing Minsk agreements.
Sanctions mainly concern the Russian banking and energy sectors. They were first introduced in the summer of 2014 due to the aggression of Russia against Ukraine, since then every time extended by half a year.
In a statement on behalf of Deputy State Department spokesman Robert Palladino the Facebook page of the US Embassy that “the United States welcome the recent steps of the European Union and its member states to hold Russia accountable for its aggression against Ukraine.”