World, Ukrainian Politics

 US, EU might impose new sanctions on Russia for actions in Kerch Strait, - Volker

Russia has extended the arrest of Ukrainian sailors at least until Ukraine presidential elections are finished. U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker says that the sailors might be used as a tool for political pressure.

Censor.NET reports citing Voice of America.

Volker said Russia will not be unpunished for its aggression in the Black Sea. The possibility of new sanctions is being discussed by the West.   

Both United States and Europe are looking into what additional measures we should be taking if Russia fails to return the sailors and continues to make those assertions of control of the Kerch Strait, Volker said.

He added that in February, the U.S. would be reviewing the set of sanctions introduced over the illegal annexation of Crimea.

He also mentioned that the EU is looking at additional sanctions as well.

Nothing has been agreed yet, but the EU have foreign ministers' meeting coming up also in February, Volker said.

And they do call on Russia to release the sailors immediately and try to come back to a diplomatic track of resolving this crisis, said the Ambassador.

Volker also welcomed the initiative to accept German and French monitors into the Kerch Strait. He argued that the presence of the monitoring mission would lessen the possibility of escalation. At the same time, the idea receives a lot of critisism from Ukraine as well, said Volker. It is about the presence of OSCE monitors in the territory not related to the conflict zone in a situation when OSCE mission includes a lot of Russians. 

U.S. representative also commented on the new peace plan for Donbas suggested by the Special Representative of the OSCE head in the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) Martin Sajdik.  

Martin Sajdik outlines a detailed plan of what the OSCE and UN missions wold do in Donbas. Some of the ideas he suggested are useful to consider. However, to implement the plan we must first solve the basic problem. And that is, whether Russia is ready to accept the presence of international peacekeepers in Donbas instead of the presence of the Russian armed forces. Russia continues to deny that it is occupying this territory. It continues to insist that only OSCE monitors are needed there, but not real peacekeeping forces. Russia blocks any attempts to bring international peacekeeping forces to Donbas. And this is a fundamental problem, Volker concluded. 

Источник: https://censor.net.ua/en/n3109377