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BRUSSELS, August 31, /ITAR-TASS/. EU leaders’ statements suggesting that military aid to Ukraine is not on the agenda are a glimmer of light in the overall gloom of Saturday’s summit of the EU, Russian ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov said Sunday.
“As for the military aspect, in spite of persistent calls from Ms. Dalia Grybauskaite (the president of Lithuania) the leaders of the EU, including Germany’s Chancellor (Angela) Merkel said quite firmly that military aid to Kiev was not on the agenda and this can be viewed as a glimmer of light in the overall gloom,” he said.
International media quoted Grybauskaite’s allegations that Russia was in what she called “a war stage against Ukraine.”
“That means it is in a stage of war against a country which would like to be closely integrated with the EU,” she claimed. “Practically Russia is in a state of war against Europe […].”
“We need to help Ukraine to battle back, to defend itself, its territory and its people, and to help militarily with military materials,” Grybauskaite said.
The European Union is still “gripped by sanctions inertia” and takes at face value ungrounded statements about the presence of Russia’s troops in Ukraine, Chizhov said.
Leaders of the EU member states on the night to Sunday instructed the European Commission and EU Foreign Political Service to draft within a week proposals on news sanctions against Russia in light of the developments in Ukraine.
Chizhov said, commenting on this decision that “the European Union is still in the dark.”
“The EU is still gripped by the sanctions inertia. It seems like many top officials of European countries have recently publicly admitted, first, the ineffectiveness of the sanctions, and second, that they lead to a blind alley. However, apparently they have failed to think of anything else,” the ambassador said.
According to him, “the worst is not even that, but the fact that they trusted the allegations made by the Ukrainian president in Brussels, and the stories spread by NATO officials in Brussels, and, in fact, have taken at face value the unsubstantiated statements about the presence of
Russian troops and weapons in the territory of Ukraine.”
“Although the entire course of the Ukrainian crisis in recent months should have taught them how to distinguish truth from fiction and the real situation from the fantasies of Kiev and some of its patrons,” Chizhov said.
There is no unanimity on the problem of anti-Russian sanctions among EU countries.
“It’s clear that whatever the instruction to the European Commission, there’s not unanimity in the EU ranks,” Chzhov said. “If you take the publications here, at least three countries have raised major objections against further sanctions. They are Hungary, Slovakia and Cyprus.”
“Slovak Prime Minister even said publicly was might use the right to veto,” he said. “So the night is still young.”
“As one can see from comments by participants in yesterday’s event (summit of the EU), the case in hand will be the economic measures roughly in the same spheres, which the EU embraced by its sanctions list on the previous occasion - financial instruments, equipment for oil and gas industry, dual technologies, and cooperation in defense manufacturing.
“Their haste is apparently linked to another major event due to take place next week - the NATO summit,” Chizhov said.