2014-12-19 18:52:00

New sanctions against Russia announced

(Vatican Radio) The European Union has announced new measures against Russia while the United States President Barack Obama signed legislation Thursday authorizing new sanctions on Russia. However US president and the EU have both expressed their intention to allow time for a peace process in eastern Ukraine, where a new truce has somewhat eased tensions in a conflict that has killed more than 4,700 lives. 

At an unusual short summit Thursday, prime ministers and other leaders of the EU agreed to imposed a ban on investment in Crimea. 

The strategically important peninsula was annexed by Russia from Ukraine earlier this year, a move that was widely condemned by the West. 

However divisions remain among EU states whether more tougher sanctions should be imposed on Russia, which is facing its worst economic crisis in years. Several anti-sanctions countries such as Hungary are heavily dependent on Russian energy and exports to that country.   

Western sanctions have already resulted in a plunging Russian ruble. And, on Thursday, hundreds of Russian sailors pulled out of a French port apparently bearing perfumes for their loved ones but lacking what commentators called the controversial bounty they came for: a 1 billion-euro French built warship. 


The helicopter carrier is part of a strange and divisive arms deal that was agreed by France before Western sanctions were imposed for Russia's perceived aggression in Ukraine. 

Moscow has denied supporting pro-Russian rebels. 

However EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini told reporters it is now up to Russia whether to become less isolated. "It is true that President [Vladimir] Putin and the Russian leadership should reflect seriously about the need for introducing a radical change in the attitude towards the rest of the world, and to switch to a cooperative mode," she said.

"And I think that Would be very much needed...to have cooperation on the various crisis we have," the official added.  


That view is reflected by President Barack Obama who signed legislation Thursday authorizing new sanctions on Russia. 

However the American leader said he does not plan to impose the penalties outlined in the measure, which also includes the possibility of delivering lethal weapons to Ukraine.

White House officials have said Obama has concerns that the measure was not in line with his policy of enacting sanctions in tandem with the European Union. 

The U.S. and Europe have sought to present a united front against Russia over what they view as Moscow's provocations in Ukraine.

All the contents on this site are copyrighted ©.