Friday

24th Nov 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 for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  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.

Opinion

The EU's half-hearted Ostpolitik

If, as the EU claims, the Eastern Partnership summit is not a format for conflict resolution, where else will the security issues that hold the region back be resolved?

News in Brief

  1. Merkel: Germany remains 'active' in EU
  2. Work with Israel, Egypt on gas exploration, says Commission
  3. Only seven EU states have 'advanced' stage climate plans
  4. EU dashes integration hopes of eastern countries
  5. EU approves joint Irish electricity scheme
  6. German president to launch 'Grand Coalition' talks
  7. Irish opposition 'threatens national interest', says minister
  8. SPD drops opposition to grand coalition in Germany

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Friends of ArmeniaSignature of CEPA Marks a Fresh Start for EU-Armenia Relations
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Energy Ministers Pledge to Work More Closely at Nordic and EU Level
  3. European Friends of ArmeniaPresident Sargsyan Joined EuFoA Honorary Council Inaugural Meeting
  4. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Leaders Should Press Azerbaijan President to End the Detention of Critics
  5. CECEKey Stakeholders to Jointly Tackle the Skills Issue in the Construction Sector
  6. European Friends of ArmeniaLaunch of Honorary Council on the Occasion of the Eastern Partnership Summit and CEPA
  7. Idealist Quarterly"Dear Politics, Time to Meet Creativity!" Afterwork Discussion & Networking
  8. EPSUStudy Finds TUNED and Employers in Central Governments Most Representative
  9. Mission of China to the EUAmbassador Zhang Ming Received by Tusk; Bright Future for EU-China Relations
  10. EU2017EEEstonia, With the ECHAlliance, Introduces the Digital Health Society Declaration
  11. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement For All Families? Same Sex Couple Ask EU Court for Recognition
  12. European Jewish CongressEJC to French President Macron: We Oppose All Contact With Far-Right & Far-Left

Latest News

  1. What Armenia's new agreement with the EU means
  2. Member states still lack definition of 'energy poverty'
  3. Chinese the most bullish on EU investment, report finds
  4. Lead MEP says EU is weeks away from deal on car approvals
  5. EU still giving gas projects 'fast-track' status
  6. Irish crisis may complicate Brexit summit
  7. UK to call out 'hostile' Russia at EU summit
  8. EU calls for better disease prevention