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2015.02.05 10:23

Baltic and Benelux countries back expanding Russia sanctions, Lithuanian foreign minister says

The Baltic and Benelux countries agree on the need to expand the existing sanctions against Russia by including more people into the blacklist. They also backed the introduction of new sectoral sanctions, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linkevičius said on Wednesday after meeting with his Baltic and Benelux counterparts in the Estonian capital of Tallinn.

The Baltic and Benelux countries agree on the need to expand the existing sanctions against Russia by including more people into the blacklist. They also backed the introduction of new sectoral sanctions, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linkevičius said on Wednesday after meeting with his Baltic and Benelux counterparts in the Estonian capital of Tallinn.

The meeting was held to discuss further sanctions against Russia ahead of the forthcoming EU Foreign Affairs Council and an informal meeting of the European Council.

"Our main focus, undoubtedly, was the Ukrainian crisis. I can say that there's common agreement on the need for additional sanctions, the blacklist must be expanded, and we believe that it should include not only those separatists but also responsible people in Russia who influence the situation (…). The common opinion is that what we have now is really not sufficient and that representatives of Russia should be included," Linkevičius told BNS.

In his opinion, the West's key goal is namely the expansion of the blacklist as the existing sectoral sanctions "are effective". The Lithuanian foreign minister also underlined that, nevertheless, "it would be good" to consider expanding them. The foreign ministers did not object to that during the meeting, he added.

The Baltic and Benelux foreign minister also discussed the worsening situation in Ukraine and the need to help the country, and also step up informational security in EU member states against the growing propaganda from Russia.

BNS