EU Delays Russia Sanctions Due to Ukraine Ceasefire
EU Council President Herman van Rompuy has announced the bloc put off for "a few days" the enforcement of new measures against Russia.
He tied the sanctions to the situation in Ukraine's Donbass region, where pro-Russian rebels signed last week a truce agreement with the government in Kiev.
Rompuy reminded that the restrictions, which were formally approved early Tuesday, would come into force after being published in the Official Journal of the European Union.
He added the step was to be taken within a few days, but added a delay would give "time" for EU leaders to assess the ceasefire's implementation, the BBC reports.
The bloc is, in his words, ready to reconsider the sanctions completely or partially depending on the situation on the ground.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel was quoted by Der Spiegel as saying that Russia could become a good partner to the EU "anytime", as the doors to negotiations were to remain open.
She nevertheless place an emphasis on how importan sanctions are for bloodshed to end in Ukraine's east.
A Western diplomat meanwhile warned the US were also mulling new restrictions, reportedly comprising parts of Russia's energy and arms industry.
Moscow has threatened to respond "asymmetrically" to any similar move by the west, with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev saying he is ready to impose a ban on EU and US flights in Russian airspace.
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