Responding to the Franco-German peace plan for Ukraine, the European Union has delayed making sanctions against Ukrainian separatists and Russia to give them more time to decide on a peaceful path of action.

European Union favors peace talks and delays sanctions

European Union favors peace talks and delays sanctions

A new ceasefire agreement in eastern Ukraine will be discussed by the leaders of Russia, Germany, Ukraine and France in Minsk, Belarus tomorrow. EU foreign ministers have frozen the assets and banned visas of 19 Ukrainian separatists and Russians including nine organizations. However, these bans would not take effect until February 16.
French foreign minister Laurent Fabius said, “The principle of these sanctions remains but the implementation will depend on results on the ground”. Depending on how the talks in Minsk go on, the French Foreign minister will decide if additional names must be added to the list or even the sanctions list would be annulled.
European union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that the decision to delay the enforcement of sanctions was made after she had several calls and meetings with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in the last few days “to understand what kind of space is needed to allow the negotiations to have the maximum chances of success.”
To arrive at this decision, the EU debated for two hours and some ministers called for immediate enforcement of the sanctions and the others were arguing that the sanctions must be delayed. The list includes 14 separatists and 5 Russians and only one organization was Russian, among the nine targeted. As of now, it has been decided that the names would be confidential, however diplomats have said that the Russian Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov is also included in the list.
There has not been any discussion on lifting the other sanctions that were enforced before and so even if the meeting at Minsk goes well, the other sanctions will remain.