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EU Should Not Lift Sanctions Against Russia - NATO

 
 
 
 
 
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The NATO chief says the West should uphold the bans imposed against Russia over the Ukrainian crisis amid a rift among major EU powers over the future of the sanctions policy towards Moscow.

“My assessment is that one should not remove the economic sanctions before Russia has changed its behavior. I believe there is a broad agreement about this in the EU,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in an interview with Reuters on Monday.

He was apparently reacting to recent comments by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who slammed NATO for its bellicose policy towards Russia and urged the Western military alliance to consider lifting the anti-Moscow bans in phases.

Steinmeier had said the sanctions should gradually be lifted “if the Russian government showed it was doing its part in implementing the Minsk peace plan for Ukraine.”

His French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault also called on EU leaders to hold talks on possible offers for the easing of anti-Moscow bans if there is progress in the implementation of the peace deals on Ukraine.

There should be a “discussion along with the renewing of sanctions and that should focus on what do we do if there is progress” in the delivery of the peace process, Ayrault said.

“I think that if we can give some signs of encouragement to one side and the other, this could be useful,” he added.

However, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond adopted a harsher stance and said the removal of anti-Russia bans should be tied to the full implementation of Ukraine’s peace deals.

The developments come as EU leaders will meet on Tuesday to decide whether to extend anti-Moscow sanctions from late July until late January 2017. The bans are due to expire in late July.

If they reach an agreement, the financial, energy and defense sanctions on Russia will be formally signed off on Friday.

The United States and the EU imposed a series of sanctions on Russia in the summer of 2014 for allegations that Moscow is arming and supporting pro-Russian forces fighting in eastern Ukraine.

Moscow, however, has strongly rejected the accusations and imposed tit-for-tat sanctions against the EU.

Western sanctions, which have been in place for the past two years, prohibit certain exports and imports, and ban investment and tourism services by EU-based companies to Crimea.

Russia-West ties have been strained since Crimea decided to rejoin Russia in a referendum in March 2014.

The United States and its European allies accuse Moscow of destabilizing Ukraine. Moscow, however, rejects having a hand in the crisis gripping the country.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has blamed the West for the bloodshed that has plagued the country and left more than 9,000 people dead and over 20,000 others injured.

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  • Lone Ranger

    Sad little bankster puppet, he doesnt even runs NATO, he is just a marionette, its the U.S: govt that should be sanctioned not Russia, supporting nazis, jihadists and drug cartels, toppling sovereign govt destroying whole countries, since 2001, 2 million Iraqis died, 500.000 Syrians, 150.000 Libyans, 40.000 Ukrainians combined, and thats a conservative estimate.
    The U.S. govt isnt spreading democracy but death and destruction.
    Also lets not forget about the U.S. casulties, wich are a little bit tricky since combat losses arent counted if it didnt happen on the battlefield but in the hospital or to en route to it.
    The real losses are around 60.000 wich is more than in the Vietnam waw, the suicide amongst returning vets are at a record high, higher than during WWII or the Vietnam war, 22 vets commit suicide each day on avg thats 8000/year.
    Since 2003 more than 250.000 soldiers died because they didnt get the right medical treatment or they didnt get any treatment at all, no other countries in the western world does that with its own people, except for the U.S., think about it next time to sign up, do you really want to back up rapist cannibal headchopping jihadists and nazis? If the answer is yes than you aint a True American.

  • rh2

    Stoltenberg is just another A-hole Stooge doing Obama’s and Merkel’s bidding. Those two evil characters won’t be happy until the entire Non-Muslim world goes up in flames. It’s all about advancing Islam’s quest for world domination. . . that’s what it is all about!

    • LarryNC

      I think that it is about creating a one-world government. That and perhaps creating such a huge disaster that martial law will be instituted and the elections suspended…permanently.

  • LarryNC

    Well, in my opinion, the NATO chief can kiss my ass. What an idiot. Apparently these people really do want to create a WW3. We need to be working with Russia and Vladimir Putin right now in the fight against ISIS. Oh Lord, what am I thinking, the U.S. created, trained, armed and financed ISIS. I love my country, but the U.S. government has become/is an evil in this world. May God help us all.

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