Why does EU impose sanctions only against Russia?
Ukraine has been constantly avoiding direct dialogue with the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, but the European Union impose sanctions over the implementation of the Minsk agreements only against Russia, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a press conference following the talks with High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini.
"We are ready to do our part but unfortunately, Kiev has been avoiding direct dialogue with the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and the the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic though it is written in black and white in the Minsk documents. But if everybody should implement the agreements, then Russia, apparently, should make Donetsk and Lugansk, who signed the Minsk accords, strictly abide by their obligations while Germany and France should ensure that the Ukrainian government does the same," Lavrov pointed out.
He stressed that "the apparent sabotage by the Kiev leadership of everything that is written in the Minsk document should of course meet some reaction from those who patronize this government."
Lavrov also pointed out that Ukraine "has been trying to change the agreements, even to rewrite them in order to achieve their goals, which may lead the process to a deadlock." "I expect our counterparts from the EU to try and make the Ukrainian authorities strictly implement the Minsk agreements," the Russian top diplomat added.
"If this is done, then we will be ready to do our part as guarantors of the agreements in order to influence Donetsk and Lugansk so that they make take steps in this direction too, after Kiev begins to fulfill its obligations," TASS cited Lavrov as saying.
Lavrov said earlier at a meeting with Mogherini that Russia aims to restore full-fledged interaction with the European Union.
"The relations between the Russian Federation and the West are living through an uneasy period. We are still aimed at restoring full-fledged cooperation with the European Union, our largest trade and economic partner," he said.
"We have numerously expressed our principled readiness to normalize the relations at such a pace that will be acceptable for the EU," the Russian foreign minister said. ‘We are open to go as far as you are ready to go," Lavrov added.
The deputy director of the Institute of the CIS, Vladimir Zharikhin, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that the European Union simply does not have a desire to exert pressure on Kiev. "To be more precise, there is a small desire, but there is no possibility. Kiev had previously listened to what Washington was saying, and now is waiting for the new president's statements in Washington. Not long ago, negotiations were held in the Normandy format, but nothing happened after that. The EU, in fact, has a lot of tools for pressure - both financial and visa-related, but I do not see much desire to do it," he said.
"The European Union should threaten Kiev with sanctions for sabotaging the implementation of the Minsk agreements. But they do not even reach the level of verbal threats, not to mention real sanctions. As long as it continues, Kiev will wait until something happens," Vladimir Zharikhin added.
The director of 'Slobodchuk and partners: politics, PR, elections', Sergey Slobodchuk, in turn, drew attention to the fact that even the EU's rhetoric shows the lack of need to press on the Ukrainian authorities. "Brussels will continue to act in the same vein without making any real claims to Kiev, but drawing claims against Russia, which in principle cannot comply with the Minsk agreements, because it is not their party," he explained.