BRUSSELS, February 18. /TASS/. The European Union will make a unanimous decision on imposing new sanctions on Russia in the wake of the Kerch Strait incident in the next couple of weeks, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said upon arrival at an EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting taking place in Brussels on February 18.
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"The objective of sanctions is not that they stay forever, it is to put pressure in order to overcome the situation, so the objective of sanctions is that one day they will be lifted but we do not see positive steps and this is why the member states have so far reiterated their will to keep them," she said. "There can be decisions by unanimity on new sanctions coming up in the next couple of weeks," Mogherini pointed out.
"Again we could only wish to see positive developments and will be always ready to reconsider this, but at the moment we see rather the opposite, more negative developments on the ground," the EU top diplomat added.
According to European sources, the EU plans to blacklist eight individuals. Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Chairperson-in-Office and Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak confirmed that new sanctions would only target several individuals.
Kerch Strait incident
On November 25, 2018, three Ukrainian navy ships illegally crossed Russia’s border and tried to carry out some illegal actions in Russian territorial waters later in the day. They ignored legitimate demands to stop issued by vessels belonging to the FSB Border Service and the Black Sea Fleet and continued maneuvering dangerously. In order to stop the Ukrainian ships, weapons had to be used. The three vessels were detained in Russian territorial waters.
Moscow branded Kiev's stunt in the Kerch Strait as a dangerous provocation. A criminal investigation was opened into the border incident. The Ukrainian ships’ crew members, 24 Ukrainian nationals, have been arrested.