Merkel: ‘G8 no longer exists’ as EU plans further sanctions on Russia / EU countries weigh possible losses from Crimea escalation / Conclusions on Ukraine, 21 March 2014

Series Title
Series Details 20.03.14
Publication Date 20/03/2014
Content Type

As EU Members States pondered and discussed the implications of imposing further more stringent sanctions against Russia at the European Council, Brussels, 20-21 March 2014, US President Barack Obama announced on the 20 March 2014 further sanctions on Russian officials and a bank over the crisis in Crimea. Mr Obama also said he had signed an order enabling the US to impose sanctions on sectors of the Russian economy.

In Conclusions adopted at the European Council, among other things, contained a decision to add 12 more names to the list of sanctions, cancel the next EU-Russia summit and regular bilateral summits by the member states; a request for an OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) mission in Ukraine, and a request for an EU mission, if an agreement on OSCE mission were not reached rapidly.

In addition, the European Council asked the European Commission and the member states to prepare possible targeted measures, if the crisis were not settled peacefully and if Russian Federation took any further steps to destabilize situation.

The EU and Ukraine signed the political provisions of the Association Agreement on 21 March 2014.

RIA Novosti reported that Russia had imposed sanctions against nine senior US officials in retaliation to the US visa bans and asset freezes.

The Crimea crisis should be treated as a wake-up call to rethink the EU’s relations with Russia and its eastern neighbours, warned European Parliament President Martin Schulz on the 20 March 2014. Mr Schulz was addressing the European Council at the start of the summit and focussed on Ukraine. Mr Schulz called the Crimea crisis 'a massive threat to the security system', adding: 'People fear the outbreak of a new Cold War'.

Separately on the 20 March 2014, Swiss Foreign Minister and OSCE Chair, Didier Burkhalter, emphasised the importance of various ongoing OSCE activities in order to support Ukraine to overcome the crises. At the same time, he underlined that the Organisation was gradually expanding its presence on the ground.

The political provisions of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine were formally signed in Brussels on the 21 March 2014 in a symbolic gesture of support for Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on the 21 March 2014 on the ratification of the treaty providing for the reunification of the Crimean Peninsula with Russia. The treaty had been already ratified by both houses of the Russian parliament.

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