Today, European leaders agree to extend economic sanctions towards Russia in connection with the crisis in Eastern Ukraine. These sanctions were decided in the summer of 2014, at the climax of the Ukrainian crisis, a few months after the annexation of Crimea by Russia and the offensive of pro-Russian rebels in Eastern Ukraine. The European Union accuses Russia of supporting separatist rebels, including providing them with weapons, which Moscow categorically denies. The EU has also imposed sanctions on nearly 150 personalities, including relatives of Russian President Vladimir Putin, listed on a « blacklist ». Their assets held by European banks are therefore frozen and they are deprived of visas for the EU.
In their conclusions, the 28 States once again urged Russia to « recognize its responsibility » in the disaster of flight MH17 shot down by a missile over Ukraine in 2014.
The European Union could seem united; however, the extension of sanctions is not unanimous. Indeed, on Wednesday, June 27, the Italian deputies of the 5-star movement and the League presented a resolution on the need to relax European sanctions against Russia, as well as not to extend these automatically.
The European Union makes headway on every field towards Russia. Yesterday, President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė, Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, Latvian counterparts Māris Kučinskis and Polish Mateusz Morawiecki have signed a political roadmap for the synchronization of electricity networks of the Baltic States with the continental European electricity grid, via Poland, by 2025.
The three Baltic countries, formerly parts of the USSR, remain attached to the Russian and Belarussian electricity grid, which exposes them to possible cuts by Russia. To reduce their dependence on the latter, the EU encourages them to connect to the continental European network via the Polish network.
For further information:
On the economic sanctions – Le Monde Website
Agence Europe Website
On the Baltic-Poland agreement – Agence Europe Website