Wednesday 21 February 2018

EU plans to increase sanctions on Russia amid further Ukrainian unrest

Pro-Russian men storm a police station in the eastern Ukrainian town of Horlivka (AP)
Pro-Russian men storm a police station in the eastern Ukrainian town of Horlivka (AP)

Sanctions against Russia are to be expanded with more people added to the list subject to asset freezes and visa bans, Catherine Ashton said.

The European Union's foreign affairs chief said the action had been agreed in light of the latest events, as she also urged Russia to pull back its troops from the Ukrainian border.

Speaking after talks in Luxembourg with EU foreign ministers, Ashton told reporters: "We condemn unreservedly the actions by armed individuals in the cities of eastern Ukraine.

"These attempts at destabilising Ukraine must stop. We strongly support the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

"We call upon Russia to do so as well and pull back its troops from the Ukrainian border.

"Any further actions aimed at destabilising Ukraine have to stop.

"In light of the latest events we decided to expand the list of those subject to asset freezes and visa bans.

"Utmost restraint is crucial. We commend the Ukrainian authorities for pursuing the law and order operations in a measured manner and we encourage the government in Kiev to contribute further to reducing tensions.

"Free and fair presidential elections on May 25 are the best way to express the will of the citizens as is the process of constitutional reform."

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