In a Financial Times interview the ex-NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the need to extend sanctions against Russia by six months (as was done until now), and for the year. He explained that every time there comes a time to prolong the sanctions regime, the position of European countries in this matter are constantly weakening, and Russia at the same time focusing on how to achieve separation in this matter.
According to Rasmussen, the extension of the sanctions for a year would send a strong message to President Vladimir Putin that European governments together with the US still unable to find the answer to the great challenges “facing them in this difficult decade.”
In addition, former NATO Secretary General considers that a decision on Russia will be beneficial in a number of European leaders, as it will relieve them of additional pressure on domestic policy issues. This is especially important, according to the politician, on the eve of parliamentary elections in France and Germany.
Rasmussen in his article also argues with those who believe that the increase in the sanctions period of the alleged will prevent Russia to fulfill its obligations under the Minsk agreements. However, he stressed that the sanctions can be removed prematurely in the event that Moscow will return to Kiev full control over the Eastern border of Ukraine.
On the eve of The Wall Street Journal announced that October 17 will meet the foreign Ministers of the EU, which will discuss its actions in response to the worsening situation in Aleppo. According to the publication, specific decisions were not expected, however, subject in any event to be raised.
The official representative of Russian foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova said that the possible approval of a new package of sanctions in connection with the situation in Syria is a manifestation of the “illogical” and “non-automatic” position, promising immediate response.