Slovakia, which will chair the EU from 1 July, during the discussion of sanctions against Russia on Monday insisted that EU governments cannot ignore political pressure in a number of European States aimed at changing the sanctions policy against Russia, reports Reuters.
According to unnamed diplomats, which the Agency refers, this kind of talk is a marker of a potential easing of restrictive measures against Russia. As Reuters reports, the restrictions are also interested in the Italy, Bulgaria and Greece.
The Minister of foreign Affairs of Slovakia Miroslav Lajcak said on Monday about the need for negotiations, as there is a “growing demand for a political debate” about sanctions imposed on Russia.
“I’m not calling for the lifting of sanctions. But what I don’t want to see is what we formally maintain sanctions and to bypass sanctions all signed major deals with Russia, paying visits, meeting with people whose names are on the sanctions list. To date the reality is. So I think it would be fair to discuss it,” — said Lajcak on the sidelines of the meeting of foreign Ministers of the EU in Luxembourg.
The Minister of foreign Affairs of great Britain Philip Hammond, in turn, said that in this matter there can be no compromise, and that the Minsk agreements, which include a complete ceasefire in the South-East of Ukraine should be fully implemented
“If you want to mitigate the sanctions need not move in the direction of obligations not to talk about it, do not perform only a part of them, and execute them all,” said Hammond. “The Russians play the game of “divide and rule” aimed at those who are inclined to talk about easing the pressure on them. This is a big mistake,” — said the Minister.
France also supports the position that sanctions against Russia can not be cancelled as long as Moscow supported militias in the South-East of Ukraine. Paris, however, believes that EU leaders should also seek common ground with the Kremlin, Reuters reports.
EU ambassadors have Tuesday, June 21, to negotiate in Brussels on the extension of sanctions against Russia by the end of this year, reminds Agency.
Earlier, on June 17, during a visit at the international economic forum in St. Petersburg, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi promised that Italy will not allow automatic renewal of sanctions. He claimed that at a meeting of EU ambassadors in Rome would seek further discussion of this issue.
Thus The Financial Times in early June it was reported that the European supporters of the easing of sanctions against Russia has changed position and it will allow the EU to extend the restrictive measures for another six months. Citing sources in Brussels, the publication reported that “peaceful” in relation to Russia, the country decided to defer consideration of their claims on the revision of the sanctions before the summit in December 2016. One source told FT that sooner or later the EU will require “deep and detailed” discussion of anti-Russian sanctions and called year-end “true moment” for this.
Earlier Bloomberg, citing European officials reported that EU countries, including those least supported sanctions, in General, agreed to extend the restrictive measures for a further six months.