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New EU sanctions against Russia to affect Finnish, Estonian economies — Estonian PM

June 30, 2014, 18:26 UTC+3 TALLINN
The West has repeatedly threatened Russia with further punitive measures, including economic ones, for its position on Ukraine
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Prime Minister of Estonia Taavi Roivas

Prime Minister of Estonia Taavi Roivas


TALLINN, June 30. /ITAR-TASS/. The European Union’s possible new sanctions against Russia would negatively affect the economies of Finland and Estonia, Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Roivas said after a meeting with his Finnish counterpart Alexander Stubb on Monday.

Stubb said the EU is likely to keep using second-level sanctions, which includes targeted visa restrictions and asset freezes in European banks.

Earlier, Roivas said he believes the EU is unlikely to impose the third level of sanctions against Russia that would affect the country’s exports and imports.

“The aim of EU summit decisions voiced on Friday was to pressurize Russia but that does not automatically lead to the imposition of the third level of sanctions,” the Helsingin Sanomat (Helsinki Times) daily quoted the Finnish prime minister as saying.


EU summit urges de-escalation

EU leaders who gathered for a summit in Brussels on Friday, June 27, said in a joint statement that specific steps should be taken to de-escalate the conflict in Ukraine’s embattled Southeast by Monday.

The measures mentioned by the EU leaders include the release of hostages, return of border checkpoints to Ukrainian authorities and start of talks in Ukraine’s southeastern regions by June 30.

The EU summit statement also said that “the Council will assess the situation and, should it be required, adopt necessary decisions. The European Council underlines its commitment to reconvene at any time for further significant restrictive measures.”


Western sanctions against Russia 

A European source has explained to ITAR-TASS that no measures will be taken automatically after June 30, the deadline for implementation of steps mentioned by the EU leaders.

In case of a lack of progress in measures to de-escalate the Ukrainian conflict, an extraordinary meeting of top diplomats or an EU summit may be convened to assess the situation and possible sanctions.

The source confirmed that a package of possible sectoral punitive measures against Russia was drafted by the European Commission, the EU’s executive body, and the European External Action Service in May.

EU members, apparently inspired by the United States, have subjected some Russian officials and companies to sanctions, including visa bans and asset freezes, following Crimea’s incorporation by Russia in mid-March.

The West has threatened Russia with further punitive measures, including economic ones, for its position on Ukraine (incorporation of Crimea and what the West claimed was Moscow’s alleged involvement in protests of federalization supporters in Ukraine’s embattled Southeast).

Moscow has repeatedly dismissed the involvement claims and rejected the language of sanctions saying it would strike back at Western nations.

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