EU may impose Russia sanctions if peace deal broken

- EU has to be 'cautious' and maintain its decision on sanctions against Russia, says President of the European Council.

BRUSSELS (AA) - European Union’s trust in Russian President Vladimir Putin is “limited” despite a peace accord on the Ukrainian crisis was signed in Minsk on Wednesday, said President of the European Council Donald Tusk.

Tusk told reporters in Brussels late Thursday: “We are cautious after bad experiences with Minsk one [first Minsk agreement] it is obvious that we have to be cautious and of course our trust and goodwill in Putin is limited; this is why we have to maintain our decision on sanctions.”

Tusk’s comments came after EU heads of government gathered in Brussels on Thursday to discuss the Ukraine crisis, terrorism and the situation in Greece.

On Monday, EU foreign ministers agreed to postpone adding 19 new names to a list of sanctions against senior Russians to see what the results of the Minsk peace negotiations would be.

However, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko told EU leaders in Brussels on Thursday not to hesitate imposing new sanctions on Russia if the second Minsk agreement signed Thursday morning was broken.

“If the Minsk agreement is violated, this is exactly the reason for further restrictive measures by the EU and the USA,” Poroshenko said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also warned late Thursday following the EU heads of governments meeting in Brussels that EU may impose further sanctions if Ukraine ceasefire failed.

France’s President Francois Hollande also told reporters in Brussels late Thursday: “The consequences [of sanctions] are not something positive for either the country who is the victim of sanctions… who has to deal with the sanctions… or the countries [imposing sanctions].”

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