On Thursday, March 19, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Ukraine’s Prime Minister impelled U.N. nations to maintain sanctions on Russia. This comes as a result of weakening sanctions generated by the cease-fire agreed upon in Minsk, Belarus, which is apparently holding.
His opinion is as follows:
“If [Russian President Vladimir] Putin splits the unity among EU member states and among the leaders of the EU member countries, this will be the biggest success story of President Putin and this will be a disaster for the free world.”
The cease-fire, which has been holding for a month, generated a difference in opinion among the 28 European Union countries. The agreement states that Ukraine is able to retake control over its border by the end of 2015.
Some nations want the European Union to prolong the sanctions up until December 31 so that Russia will further respect the border conditions. There are, however, concerns that some countries will use the opportunity of the decreasing tension in Ukraine to give up on the penalties. Cyprus, Italy and Greece leaders are planning or have already gone to Moscow recently.
The Ukrainian Prime Minister has also asked for peacekeepers to be sent to eastern Ukraine to verify whether Russia is respecting the deals made at Minsk. The Ukrainian parliament has also urged the U.N. on Wednesday, March 18, to send peacekeepers.
Arseniy Yatsenyuk made the following statement:
“We expect that our European friends will support this idea, because everyone wants to get peace in Europe and one of the tools to reach this peace is to deploy peacekeepers.”
E.U. diplomats consider this action to be far too premature and unnecessary to bring into discussions at Thursday’s summit. The meeting will more likely be on the subject of the sanctions imposed on Russia after it took over Crimea in 2014.
Economic sanctions have already been extended until September 2015 and the new penalties will be even tougher, targeting Russian banking, energy and defense sectors.
Vladimir Chizhov, Russia’s ambassador for the EU considers that the only effect these actions will have, just like those imposed by the United States will be “lost jobs, stunted economic growth and forfeited business opportunities in both Russia and EU countries.” He added that these penalties have failed to steer away Russia from its principal aim.
Image Source: Huffington Post