Monday, 14 April 2014 - 14:15
No economic sanctions on Russia yet
The Netherlands will not impose economic sanctions or a weapons embargo on Russia, yet. Foreign Affairs Minister Frans Timmermans has said that the cabinet is rather considering travel restrictions and freezing of assets. Timmermans wrote the Second Chamber today that there is still room to expand the existing sanctions. He expected that this could happen today at a meeting of EU ministers in Luxemburg. "Think of adding people or entities with visa restrictions and whose assets should be frozen. And possible acceleration of the next phase, in which economic sanctions like a weapons embargo. It's important that the EU gives a united strong signal," Timmermans wrote. He said the EU will also consider ways to support Ukraine, in the fields of police training and strengthening of the rule of law. The EU ministers will also strive to draft a united reaction to the letter Russian President Vladimir Putin wrote several EU memberstates regarding the supply of natural gas through Ukraine. Putin urged European leaders to quickly help Ukraine settle its gas debt to Russia, or possibly face a shutdown of Russian natural gas supplies flowing though Ukrainian pipelines to the continent. The Cabinet wants transparency regarding the energy supply from Ukraine, to prevent this becoming a pawn in the ongoing conflict.