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2015.09.08 13:45

Linkevičius: EU has done everything it can on Ukraine

  The European Union has done everything it can after EU foreign ministers agreed in Brussels on Thursday on sanctions against Ukrainian officials, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius said.

The European Union has done everything it can after EU foreign ministers agreed in Brussels on Thursday on sanctions against Ukrainian officials, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius said.

“At this stage, the EU has done everything it could, but I would like to stress that we agreed that list that will be made soon will not be final,” Linkevičius told BNS on Thursday night, adding that EU ministers agreed on a visa ban and account freeze.

“A political decision was made to introduce targeted sanctions not against the country, but against people who are responsible for the security situation and the committed acts of violence and other human rights violations (…). The Political and Security Committee will make a list of people who will see sanctions applied against them in the form of a visa ban and freezing of bank accounts,” Linkevičius said.

“It was also agreed to withdraw licenses for equipment that could be used – not necessarily is being used, but that can be used – for repressions against peaceful residents,” the Minister said.

Meanwhile, EU ministers also agreed to facilitate movement for Ukrainian citizens.

“We decided to facilitate visa issuance for citizens. By making use of the flexibility of the Visa Code, definitely, decisions will be made to reduce visa prices and, perhaps, in certain cases visas will be issued for free. It should significantly facilitate Ukrainian citizens’ chances of getting into not only EU member states, but Europe as a whole as usually other European counties join procedures we establish in the EU,” Linkevičius said, adding that this decision should be implemented technically shortly.

The Lithuanian Foreign Minister hopes that after feeling the effect of sanctions on their personal or business life, people “should start acting differently”.

“We see a really dramatic, tragic situation and, therefore, our actions should be adequate,” the Minister said, adding that the impunity atmosphere and the lack of a dialogue have brought everyone to this situation.

“An honest and comprehensive dialogue did not take place for a long time and it was one of the reasons as to why the situation got worse. The impunity atmosphere prevailed and the government, specifically the president, is definitely responsible for that. And we continue to demand an investigation into those cases, those facts that are known but the culprits are not clear. I mean the disappearance of people, alleged tortures and killings,” Linkevičius said.

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