EU warns Russia after MH17 crash
EU foreign ministers gave Russia a few days to stop arming Ukrainian rebels, believed responsible for the downing of the Malaysia Airlines plane, or face sanctions on its financial, high-tech and defence industries.
The ministers, meeting in Brussels on Tuesday, also decided to add more names and companies to an existing blacklist, which are to be agreed by the end of July.
The EU demands say Russia must stop the flow of weapons to eastern Ukraine, withdraw its “additional troops” from the Ukrainian border, use its influence on pro-Russian separatists to grant international investigators full access to the crash site of flight MH17, and fully co-operate with the probe.
According to the ministers’ conclusions, “remains ready to introduce without delay a package of further significant restrictive measures, if full and and immediate co-operation on the above mentioned demands fails to materialise.”
The exact proposals are to be tabled at a meeting of EU ambassadors in Brussels on Thursday.
Speaking on his way out of Tuesday’s meeting, Dutch foreign minister Frans Timmermans said that “this [the new EU threat] is a logical consequence ... of the lack of progress that we have seen on the Russian side” since a previous ultimatum ran out at the end of June.
The Netherlands has been hit the hardest by the crash, as 193 out of the 298 victims of flight MH17 were Dutch citizens. Timmermans said he was happy for the solidarity expressed by his colleagues and that the “decision was reached unanimously.”