EU has no consensus on introduction of new sectoral sanctions against Russia - Kuleba
There is no consensus in the EU countries on the need to introduce new sectoral sanctions against Russia, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said.
"No, I did not see a consensus 'appetite' for sectoral sanctions yesterday. Perhaps the reason for this is that I joined the ministers via video conference. If I were there, if the meeting was held offline, I could feel their 'appetite' better. But I really want to make it clear for them: the personal sanctions that have been introduced in recent years are good, they are doing their job, but they are not enough to demotivate Russia from further aggressive steps," he said during an online conference on Tuesday.
Kuleba said that his goal at the moment is to signal to his colleagues in the EU that they should start considering these options, they should be ready.
"Because even the fact that they started this discussion will have an impact on Russia, since Russia is afraid of economic sanctions," the Foreign Minister said.
Another "sad truth", he said, is that Russia has found gaps in the current sectoral sanctions regime. Kuleba said that it is necessary to start a conversation about how to fill these gaps instead of turning a blind eye to them," the minister said.
"Sectoral sanctions are not a matter of appetite, it is a matter of time and Russia's behavior. And from my recent contacts with the German and French foreign ministers, I can conclude that they understand this reality," he said.
Kuleba said that at a meeting between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, they all agreed that Russia should be restrained.
"They did not discuss specifics, but all capitals are considering appropriate ways to do this. As EU members, both France and Germany, have experience of imposing sectoral sanctions against Russia in 2014, namely after the shooting down of MH-17 by Russia, so this is not about opening a "Pandora's box" or setting a precedent, it is simply about using a tool that has proven to be effective," the minister said.