European Union foreign ministers threatened further sanctions against Russia on Monday, if the Kremlin does not seize the opportunity created by Ukraine’s cease-fire plan.
CCTV’s Jack Barton reports from Brussels that the warning came at a meeting of all 28 EU foreign ministers that also focused on the conflicts in Iraq and Syria.
European Union foreign ministers unanimously backed Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko’s peace plan at their meeting on Monday.
Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy says, “We called in particular on Russia to support the plan and use its influence to ensure its implementation”.
But some ministers alleged Russia is still stoking tensions in Ukraine’s troubled south-east.
Linas Antanas Linkevičius, Lithuania’s Minister for Foreign Affairs says, “The situation still deteriorates and we still see penetration, not just military groups but also heavy weapons, rocket launchers, even tanks through the border, so this commitment to secure the border failed and this I’m afraid could continue”.
EU foreign ministers warned that alleged situation had to change. William Hague, UK Foreign Secretary says, “And in the absence of that the European Union will be able to take further measures, further sanctions on Russia.
Restrictions targeting Crimea were also introduced. But other big issues were discussed.
Standup: “Iraq also featured prominently on the agenda, with the EU concerned about a rise in the already record number of refugees heading to Europe as well as the rising price of Middle Eastern oil, which could jeopardize the bloc’s fragile economic recovery”.
The EU also announced fresh sanctions on twelve Syrian government ministers, accusing them of responsibility for “serious human rights violations.”