EU parliament suggests maintenance of sanctions on Russia

European lawmakers suggest EU countries to continue pressure on Russia through sanctions over its alleged roles in Ukraine conflict

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The European Union (EU) Parliament passed a resolution bill on Thursday and called its member states to resume financial and economic sanctions on Russia which is allegedly responsible for the ongoing crisis in eastern Ukraine.

The bill that was the second such critical vote in the EU legislature this week, expressing the EU’s anger at Moscow as it also divided European polity regarding the issue of sanctions between far-right and far-left groups opposing both motions.

"The European Parliament ... calls on EU member states to remain firm and united in their commitment to the agreed sanctions against Russia," the eight-page resolution text said.

A lawmaker from Romania highlighted security issues in and around the Black Sea as he suggested that the 28-member bloc should be "cooperative rather than confrontational in the long run" in relations with Moscow.

The Romanian parliamentarian also stated that the EU must resume pressure over Russia until the Kremlin withdraws from Crimea and fulfils the requirements of Minsk ceasefire protocol signed in February.  

Russia’s diplomatic mission in Brussels has declined to comment so far on the nonbinding resolution that was carried by 356 votes to 183, with far-left legislators joining right-wing Eurosceptics including the UK Independence Party (UKIP) and France's National Front in opposition.

A Lithuanian member of the EU parliament had also proposed a similar bill on Wednesday that urged European countries on Moscow as it read “Russia, because of its actions in Crimea and in eastern Ukraine, can no longer be treated as ... a strategic partner."

The UKIP representative James Carver spoke against the resolution and said Russia and the EU have been sharing the responsibility for the insecurity in Europe and criticised Brussels with a "EU neo-imperialism."

Ukraine reiterated several times that Russia did not abide by the ceasefire measures agreed in Minsk that were put into force as of the middle of February, but both parties have been sporadically violating it since then.

The West also started to voice up against Russia which has long been accused of its military support, including of sending weapons and troops to fight on behalf of the separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk provinces since Russian President Vladimir Putin called the seized territories as “New Russia.”

The NATO warned Russia last week for its increasing involvement in the separatist war in the restive east where at least 6,417 people have been killed and 15,962 others wounded in more than 13 months of fierce fightings, according to the UN figures.

Since Moscow annexed Crimea and gave its military and political support to the separatists inside Ukraine, the relations between Russia and the Euro-Atlantic allies had undergone to the level of Cold War era.

The EU admonished Russia last week about a “new spiral of violence” upon the broken ceasefire in Donetsk on Wednesday and menaced Moscow by tightening the sanctions imposed last year end.

The EU’s move just came after when the Ukrainian ambassador to Brussels Kostiantyn Yelisieiev urged the 28-nation bloc to take immediate steps to ramp up sanctions on Moscow over the renewed fighting.

On its part, Moscow immediately responded Ukraine on Thursday last week by accusing Kiev of provoking new clashes with the aim of putting pressure on the EU that is expected to decide soon on whether to extend economic sanctions on Russia.


TRTWorld and agencies