Monday

25th Sep 2017

Obama, EU leaders agree on Russia sanctions

  • If EU ambassadors don't agree Tuesday or Wednesday, an EU summit is not excluded (Photo: European Council)

The leaders of Britain, France, Germany, Italy and the US held a conference call on Monday (28 July) and agreed to impose economic sanctions on Russia as it continues to support the war in eastern Ukraine.

In a press statement after the call, the office of British Prime Minister David Cameron said that the five leaders "agreed that Russia has failed to take the steps necessary to de-escalate the crisis, such as ceasing support for the separatists; stopping the flow of weapons across the border; and using its influence to ensure the release of hostages."

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.

Even after the downing of Malaysia Airlines MH17 flight, in which 298 people died, "Russia continues to transfer weapons across the border and to provide practical support to the separatists."

"Leaders agreed that the international community should therefore impose further costs on Russia and specifically that ambassadors from across the EU should agree a strong package of sectoral sanctions as swiftly as possible," Downing Street said.

EU ambassadors on Monday agreed to extend the sanctions list to the inner circle of Russian President Vladimir Putin and were set to meet again on Tuesday to agree on economic sanctions.

Any new EU sanctions will come into force within 24 hours of a deal being reached between the ambassadors.

With the more reluctant German and Italian leaders onboard, it is unlikely that ambassadors will fail to reach an agreement Tuesday or Wednesday at latest.

Otherwise, a special EU summit of all leaders would have to be called again - a prospect that nobody wants as it would show a divided Europe.

According to an EU source, one of the sticking points for the Tuesday discussion remains whether the arms ban should also apply to old contracts retroactively or just new defence contracts.

Eastern member states would like to keep the existing contracts because of their Soviet-era airplanes and military equipments which need spare parts from Russia. France is also reluctant to scrap a €1.2 billion sale of two Mistral warships.

Another issue is the economic impact of sanctions if Russia retaliates with import bans on European products, as well as clear language on what could trigger the end of the sanctions regime.

A spokeswoman for Chancellor Angela Merkel said the German government is demanding a "substantial package of EU measures against Russia", including a weapons embargo.

Apart from weapons exports, the EU is likely to impose trade bans on sensitive technology, including in shale oil and arctic exploration - however no gas exploration technology. So-called dual use items, which can serve both civilian and military purposes, are also to be included on the sanctions list.

As for Russian banks and firms, they will be slapped with restrictions to EU and US capital markets, which will mean they will have trouble raising money abroad and see their stock value decrease.

The sanctions should "put pressure on Russia not to further destabilise Ukraine and instead to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis," the German chancellery said in a statement.

EU to hit Russia with economic sanctions next week

The EU is set to impose economic sanctions on Russia next week. Meanwhile, southern member states want the European Commission to consider any blowback effect when it assesses national deficits.

US joins EU on Russia economic sanctions

The US on Tuesday announced a widening of its own Russia sanctions to match the EU's economic sanctions adopted just a few hours previously.

News in Brief

  1. Merkel wins fourth term, exit polls say
  2. EU to hail 'aspirations' of former Soviet states
  3. UK says credit downgrade was wrong
  4. Dutch state appeals ban on taking air-polluting measures
  5. May proposes 2-year transition period after Brexit
  6. May to call on EU's 'sense of responsibility'
  7. Catalonia has 'contingency plans' for independence vote
  8. Last German polls confirm Merkel's lead

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EU2017EEEU Finance Ministers Agreed to Develop New Digital Taxation Rules
  2. Mission of China to the EUGermany Stands Ready to Deepen Cooperation With China
  3. World VisionFirst Ever Young People Consultation to Discuss the Much Needed Peace in Europe
  4. European Jewish CongressGermany First Country to Adopt Working Definition of Antisemitism
  5. EU2017EEFour Tax Initiatives to Modernise the EU's Tax System
  6. Dialogue PlatformResponsibility in Practice: Gulen & Islamic Thought
  7. Counter BalanceHuman Rights Concerns Over EIB Loan to the Trans Anatolian Pipeline Project
  8. Mission of China to the EUChina Leads the Global Clean Energy Transition
  9. CES - Silicones EuropeFrom Baking Moulds to Oven Mitts, Silicones Are a Key Ingredient in Kitchens
  10. Martens CentreFor a New Europeanism: How to Put the Motto "Unity in Diversity" Into Practice
  11. Access MBAGet Ahead With an MBA Degree. Top MBA Event in Brussels
  12. Idealist QuarterlyIdealist Quarterly Event: Building Fearless Democracies With Gerald Hensel