#AceWorldNews – BRUSSELS – September 06 – EU countries are to adopt new sanctions on Russia despite the Ukraine ceasefire, but might revoke them if things go well.
German chancellor Angela Merkel said at a Nato summit in Wales on Friday (5 September) that the situation is “fluid … one has to look at the ceasefire, if it holds. One has to look at the Russian troops, are they withdrawing?”
She added: “these sanctions could indeed be put in place … but with the stipulation they can be suspended again [if the peace process succeeds]”.
British PM David Cameron said: “Be in no doubt: the sanctions go ahead as announced”.
“But if the ceasefire agreement holds and leads to a genuine peace plan … it would be right to take a second look”.
Dutch PM Mark Rutte noted: “First see, then believe – the sanctions process will continue”.
The sanctions are being imposed because Russia last week attacked east Ukraine with thousands of soldiers and hundreds of armoured vehicles.
The leaders spoke after Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko told media on the golf course at the Nato event that he had agreed ceasefire terms with pro-Russia rebels.
But the EU and US are sceptical the deal will stick or that Russia will give back conquered territory.
US president Barack Obama also said “we [the US] are finalising measures to deepen sanctions against Russia”.
“With respect to the ceasefire, we are hopeful, but, based on past experience, also sceptical”.
Russia’s timing of the ceasefire offer – on the last day of an EU ultimatum and the last day of the Nato meeting – led some to see it as a trick.
“What we’ve seen in Ukraine since the start of the conflict is the creation of ambiguity designed to delay, or paralyse, [Western] decision making”, a Nato military commander, Sir Adrian Bradshaw, noted.
The new sanctions are to include more restrictions on Russian banks, oil firms, and defence companies, as well as more names on the EU’s visa ban and asset freeze list.
A British diplomat told EUobserver they are to be finalised on Friday and enter into life on Monday when they are published in the bloc’s Official Journal.