More sanctions on Russia if Minsk II fails: EU
Written by Morenike Adebayo on February 26, 2015
The European Union has threatened to impose new sanctions on Russia and pro-Russia forces if a recent peace agreement in eastern Ukraine fails.
“Additional sanctions remain on the table. We should be ready for any development — good or bad,” European Council President Donald Tusk told the EU legislature on Wednesday.
Ukraine’s warring sides reached a deal, dubbed Minsk II, at a summit attended by the leaders of Russia, France, and Germany in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, on February 11 and 12.
The agreement introduced measures such as a ceasefire, which commenced on February 15, a pullout of heavy weapons, and constitutional reform in Ukraine by the end of the year.
The EU has so far imposed visa bans and asset freezes on 151 individuals and 37 entities, and has imposed economic sanctions on Moscow.
Tusk further said that since the February 15 deadline was set, the ceasefire has been violated 800 times.
Also on Wednesday, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the ongoing Ukraine crisis should not spread further, including to the key city of Mariupol, French media reported.
“We told the Russians clearly that if there is an attack by separatists in the direction of Mariupol things will be completely disrupted, including in terms of sanctions.”
Ukraine has announced that it will not begin pulling back heavy weapons under the Mink II deal until the latest ceasefire firmly takes hold; however, pro-Russians said Tuesday they were beginning a pullback.
Nearly 5,700 people have been killed and close to a million have been displaced since the armed conflict began in eastern Ukraine in April 2014.