EU sanctions on Russia to stay
Luxembourg. 19.06.2017. Today during press-conference of the Foreign Affairs Council the EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini expressed a suggestion that the EU restrictive measures concerning Russia are there to stay. Mogherini underlined the importance of the Normandy format and Minsk Agreements in conflict resolution in Ukraine, however she did not notice a tangible progress in the situation to lift the measures imposed on Russia.
There is a fundamental difference in approaches of the EU and Russia towards the conflict, while Russia does not see itself as a part of it, the EU continues to insist on Russian responsibility to resolve it. Kremlin has not changed the position since the Maidan revolution, pointing that the current Donbass conflict is a direct outcome of the coup-d’état in Kiev, overthrowing a legal, although unpopular authority of President Victor Yanoukovich.
At the moment the EU has no plans, neither funds to integrate a country of 43 million people, according to the European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, during his mandate there will be no further enlargement of the EU. Unlike Turkey, in spite of its European geography and aspirations, the Ukrainian government has not received an opportunity to fail a request to become a candidate country so far.
The final decision on prolongation of restrictive measures against Russian Federation will be taken at the EU Council on 22-23 of July 2017.