In light of the escalation of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the US calls on Europeans to make sure that the existing sanctions are being implemented. A statement to this effect was made by US Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker in an interview with Deutsche Welle.
“Europe must take a careful look at the implementation of the sanctions already in force. At present there are severe European sanctions in force against Crimea. But how strictly are they actually being applied?” Volker asked.
The idea of the sanctions, Volker explained, is that no one who has business with Crimea can have the opportunity to do business with the EU.
“I think that you should take a fresh look from the European perspective, whether the sanctions are being properly applied,” he remarked.
When asked whether there could be sanctions against the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, Volker drew attention to the current discussion on this topic in Germany. In his opinion, it reflects the US’s concern regarding the project.
“Concern because it is purely a geopolitical project for Russia – to supply the West with gas, bypassing Ukraine and other states in Eastern Europe, while increasing the pressure and growing direct business with partners in Western Europe. As we can see, there are reasons to stop this project,” Volker observed.
He said that the US has always proposed that the gas pipeline project be reconsidered.
When asked about the threat of war between Ukraine and Russia, Volker responded: “Of course we do not want any major military conflicts or a war with Russia. That would be a catastrophe for Ukraine if it happened”.
What is needed is de-escalation and “a strong defensive position” in order to repel any further aggression from Russia, Volker remarked. He believes that this could “establish the necessary conditions to solve the problem, which are lacking at present”.