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EU may revise anti-Russian sanctions within month

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said the EU may cancel sanctions in whole or in part, depending on the situation in Ukraine

BRUSSELS, September 15. /ITAR-TASS/. The EU External Action Service within a month will assess the implementation of the peace plan in Ukraine to decide whether to revise or cancel anti-Russian sanctions, EU chief diplomat Catherine Ashton’s press secretary Maja Kosijancic told ITAR-TASS on Monday.

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, after announcing that new sanctions against Russia came into force on September 12, said the EU may cancel sanctions in whole or in part, depending on the situation in Ukraine.

Earlier, when the entry into force was delayed, Rompuy said, “This will leave time for assessment of implementation of the ceasefire agreement and the peace plan. Depending on the situation on the ground, the EU stands ready to review the agreed sanctions in whole or in part.”

When the new set of sanctions was published, Rompuy said, “It is my understanding that the Permanent Representatives Committee (COREPER) before the end of the month will carry out a comprehensive review of the implementation of the peace plan on the basis of an assessment carried out by the European External Action Service (EEAS)."

"We have always stressed the reversibility and scalability of our restrictive measures. Therefore, in the light of the review and if the situation on the ground so warrants, the Commission and the EEAS are invited to put forward proposals to amend, suspend or repeal the set of sanctions in force, in all or in part," he added.

{article_photo:749308:'New EU sanctions deepen political conflict with Russia — lawmaker':'right':'50'}EU imposes new sanctions on Russia

The EU Official Journal published the new set of sanctions on Friday, September 12.

The sanctions targeted three largest Russian state-owned companies — Gazpromneft, Transneft and Rosneft, banning them from taking loans from EU countries for more than 30 days, and the Uralvagonzavod and Oboronprom defense industrial companies and the United Shipbuilding Corporation were also barred from EU loans. Aside from companies, the European Union added 24 names to its blacklist, bringing the total number of blacklisted officials to 119.

On September 3, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed a plan to settle the crisis in Ukraine, calling for a ceasefire, for stopping offensives by all forces in south-eastern Ukraine, withdrawal of artillery at a safe range from residential sites, international control over ceasefire observance, no air strikes against civilians, “all-for-all” exchange of captives and opening humanitarian corridors.

A Contact Group in Minsk on September 5 agreed on a protocol based on the Russian president-proposed plan. The main points of the protocol were ceasefire and exchange of captives.