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February 25, 2021
WORLD

Ukraine crisis: EU to slap new sanctions on Russia ‘on Friday’

Moscow to give ‘appropriate’ response.

The European Union has agreed to impose on Friday new sanctions on Russia over its role in the Ukraine crisis, diplomatic sources say, as quoted by BBC.
This comes after sharp disagreements between member states on how to factor in a fragile truce between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian rebels.
The sources said the move was aimed at maintaining pressure on Russia. At urgent talks among 28 member states in Brussels on Wednesday, Germany pressed for the sanctions to be put into effect.
A spokesman for British PM David Cameron said several EU leaders took part in “a joint call” early on Thursday and agreed that the sanctions should take effect “by the end of the week”, according to Reuters.
The new sanctions are now expected to take effect on Friday – after the publication of the measures in the official journal of the EU. The package was finalised last Friday, but its implementation was delayed because of the ceasefire agreed on the same day.
The new sanctions will target 6 Russian big companies and 24 persons, among which oil companies Rosneft and Transneft and the petroleum unit of state gas monopoly Gazprom, as well as Russian oligharchs and Ukrainian separatist leaders.
On the other hand, Moscow will take “appropriate measures” in response to possible new sanctions from the European Union, the Russian Foreign Ministry said, as quoted by Russia Today.
The ministry said in a statement that the Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash in eastern Ukraine in July has been used as a pretext by the West to push through economic sanctions against Russia.
Russia: Dutch preliminary MH17 crash report leaves too many questions
A “truly” international investigation of the Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash in eastern Ukraine is required, Russia’s UN envoy, Vitaly Churkin, said, adding that there are too many blank spots in the newly released Dutch report on the tragedy.  “It is very hard to call this investigation a truly international one. Many questions have been left unanswered. There are too many omissions,” Churkin said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 channel. The Dutch report “did little to advance our understanding of what happened,” only confirming what was already known before, he stressed.
NATO: 1,000 Russian troops still in Ukraine
Russia still has around 1,000 troops in eastern Ukraine, a NATO military officer said on Thursday, casting doubt on reports of a reduction in Russian forces there. “The reported reduction of Russian troops from eastern Ukraine would be a good first step, but we have no information on this. The fact of the matter is there are still approximately 1,000 Russian troops in eastern Ukraine with substantial amounts of military equipment and approximately 20,000 troops on the Russian border with Ukraine,” the NATO military officer said, Daily Mail reports.

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