Wednesday, February 4, 2015

EU Set to Blame Russia for Ukraine Violence – but Greece May Intervene » American University in Moscow

Alexis Tsipras government could disrupt Thursday’s summit after it disagreed with a joint EU statement on Mariupol shelling

European governments are to push for tighter sanctions against the Kremlin and against Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine on Thursday.

But the new leftwing Greek government of Alexis Tsipras is likely to use the emergency meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels to pick its first fight with the rest of Europe.

The meeting was called at short notice by Federica Mogherini, the EU’s foreign policy coordinator, who has been forced to back down from a position calling for a relaxation of pressure on Moscow, as a result of last week’s shelling by separatists of the town of Mariupol that killed 30 civilians.

In an unusual statement on Tuesday released in the name of all 28 EU heads of government, Donald Tusk, the president of the European council, who chairs EU summits, held Moscow responsible for the shelling and told the foreign ministers to draw up additional sanctions options to be put to a summit of leaders in two weeks.

Britain, Poland and Lithuania are to push at Thursday’s meeting for a ratcheting up of the pressure on President Vladimir Putin, favouring stiffer and broader economic sanctions against Russia.

Decisions already drafted for Thursday’s meeting say the foreign ministers are to carry out "further preparatory work on further restrictive measures” before presenting the options to the summit on 12 February.

Complete story at - EU Set to Blame Russia for Ukraine Violence – but Greece May Intervene » American University in Moscow

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