Sunday

23rd Jul 2017

EU issues Russia sanctions ultimatum

  • Pro-Russia barricade in Donetsk (Photo: dasjo)

EU countries have given Russia and pro-Russia forces in Ukraine until Monday (30 June) to meet four conditions or face extra sanctions.

They said at a summit in Brussels on Friday the rebels must: give full access to international monitors; give control of border checkpoints back to Kiev; release all hostages; and “launch substantial negotiations” on a peace plan.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

“The [EU] Council will assess the situation and, should it be required, adopt necessary decisions [sanctions],” they noted in a joint statement.

An EU official told this website that foreign ministers would add more Russians or pro-Russia Ukrainians to the blacklist if things stay the same.

He said EU leaders would call a snap summit to discuss economic sanctions if the conflict escalates.

Rebels continued to kill Ukrainian soldiers during the past week despite President Petro Poroshenko’s unilateral ceasefire.

The ceasefire expires at 10pm local time on Friday, with Poroshenko, who attended the EU summit, saying he will consult with security chiefs in Kiev before deciding his next step.

He came to the EU capital to sign a free trade treaty which binds Ukraine to adopt EU norms and to stay out of Russia’s Eurasian Union.

He said: “We need to speak with Russia and I hope that this dialogue will now really take place.”

But Putin the same day showed little sign of accepting Ukraine’s pro-EU shift. He told state media the conflict is due to “an anti-constitutional coup in Kiev, [and] attempts to force on the Ukrainian people an artificial choice between Europe and Russia”.

His deputy foreign minister said there will be “serious consequences” for the EU treaty signature.

The Union's sanctions policy reflects the fact there is little appetite for economic measures against Russia in the EU Council, but also that Putin is seen as highly unpredictable.

Mark Galeotti, a Moscow-based US analyst on Russian affairs, told this website there are two scenarios.

He said Poroshenko might have made a quiet deal with Putin to sign the EU trade pact in return for accepting a divided Ukraine which stays in Russia’s sphere of influence.

“The other variant is that Poroshenko [by signing the EU accord] has just issued quite a challenge to Moscow and we know from the past that, when challenged, Putin’s instinct is to accept the challenge and to escalate.”

Galeotti predicted that if Putin opts to enflame the conflict he will do it in August.

He said there is unlikely to be a full-scale invasion.

“It’s more likely to take the form of more and better military hardware for insurgents and a renewed effort to push volunteers, mercenaries, Cossacks, adventurers, and what have you into Ukraine … or it could take the form of air strikes to disable the Ukrainian armed forces".

EU diplomats unsure of next step on Ukraine

Some EU countries expect a snap foreign ministers' meeting on Wednesday to add names to the Russia blacklist, but others expect no new decision until mid-July despite an ultimatum.

Soros to EU: Help 'new Ukraine' against 'new Russia'

US philanthropist George Soros has said the EU needs to support "new Ukraine" in its struggle against Putin's "new Russia". His words came as Ukraine's President ended a unilateral ceasefire with separatists in the east of the country.

Juncker: Death penalty will end Turkey's EU bid

Turkish president Erdogan said he would reinstate capital punishment, for people behind last year's failed military coup. But European Commission president Juncker says the move would end Turkey's bid to join the EU.

Cyprus talks up in the air

A week after the failure of negotiations to reunite the islands, Greek Cypriots are calling on Turkish Cypriots to reaffirm their commitment to the process.

News in Brief

  1. Polish parliament adopts controversial justice reform
  2. GMO opt-out plan unlikely to go anywhere in 2017
  3. Slovak PM threatens to boycott inferior food
  4. France takes Google's 'right to be forgotten' to EU court
  5. Turkey accuses German companies of supporting terror
  6. Israel's Netanyahu caught calling EU 'crazy'
  7. UK does not collect enough data to expel EU nationals
  8. Polish president threatens to veto justice reform

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  2. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  3. ECPAFood waste in the field can double without crop protection. #WithOrWithout #pesticides
  4. EU2017EEEstonia Allocates €1 Million to Alleviate Migratory Pressure From Libya in Italy
  5. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen's Message on the Anniversary of the Coup Attempt in Turkey
  6. Martens CentreWeeding out Fake News: An Approach to Social Media Regulation
  7. European Jewish CongressEJC Concerned by Normalisation of Antisemitic Tropes in Hungary
  8. Counter BalanceOut for Summer Episode 1: How the EIB Sweeps a Development Fiasco Under the Rug
  9. CESICESI to Participate in Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee on Postal Services
  10. ILGA-EuropeMalta Keeps on Rocking: Marriage Equality on Its Way
  11. European Friends of ArmeniaEuFoA Director and MEPs Comment on the Recent Conflict Escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh
  12. EU2017EEEstonian Presidency Kicks off Youth Programme With Coding Summer School

Latest News

  1. Dutch coalition talks lengthiest in 40 years
  2. Polish parliament steps up showdown with EU
  3. EU urges UK to clarify its Brexit positions
  4. Law expert: direct EU powers have become too complicated
  5. Winter is here for Spitzenkandidat, but he'll survive
  6. Mafia money pollutes the EU economy
  7. Central Europe should be wary of Brexit stopping
  8. Poland's 'July coup' and what it means for the judiciary