Linkevičius: Russian sanctions still on the table if situation in Ukraine doesn’t improve

Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius

The situation in Ukraine requires a serious reaction, Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius said before the start of the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council on Monday.

“Sanctions are a last resort. We should throw the threat of sanctions around. Sanctions are introduced when the conversation stops, when you are not being listened to, when arguments are not listened to. This is a significant step, but it’s still on the table, definitely, because what is going on is something we should address very seriously,” Linkevičius told journalists before entering the meeting in Luxembourg.

Linkevičius believes the measures Russia has taken to regulate the situation in Ukraine peacefully are insufficient.

“The situation is not stable. Unfortunately, those stake holders who wield the most influence are not doing enough. I am referring to Russia, first of all,” said the Lithuanian foreign minister.

There were many statements about the pullout of forces and readiness to start talking, however, Russia’s actions do not reflect the peaceful rhetoric.

At the meeting in Luxembourg on Monday, EU foreign ministers will discuss developments in Ukraine, events in the Middle East region, and the situation in Iraq, the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry said.

Linkevičius said on Sunday night that the entry of heavy munitions to Ukraine is alarming.

“It is not only armed people that enter Ukraine but also highly threatening heavy weapons – anti-aircraft weaponry and even tanks, there is undoubtedly a link to Russia. These weapons cannot be bought at a store,” said the minister.

He expressed regret that the developments occurred shortly after Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko presented his peace plan. Poroshenko intends to present his plan at the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg, as well.

Source: BNS
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