UK Wants EU to Slap More Sanctions on Russia over Skripal Attack
The UK is pressing for more EU-wide sanctions Russia, urging the Union to stand with the United States which introduced additional economic measures against Moscow earlier this month.
The EU already has in place three sets of sanctions against Russia’s leadership because of its interference in Ukraine. Some of those were recently renewed.
Ukraine has been involved in a “cold’ conflict with Russia since 2014, after Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in reaction to the Euromaidan Revolution in Kyiv, which ousted pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych and promised to bring Ukraine closer to the West.
A pro-Russian insurgency possibly instigated and aided by Moscow followed shortly in the Donbass region in Eastern Ukraine and has been raging ever since.
In a speech to be delivered in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Britain’s Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt is to urge the EU to adopt additional measures against Moscow, Reuters reports.
Hunt will state that Russian President Vladimir Putin has made the world “a more dangerous place” in what will be the first major international address of the new British Foreign Secretary who took the job in July.
He is to argue that after a chemical weapons attack in England – that with the Novichok agent against the Skripal family earlier this year – the EU should apply more pressure to ensure Russia sticks to international rules.
“Today the United Kingdom asks its allies to go further by calling on the European Union to ensure its sanctions against Russia are comprehensive, and that we truly stand shoulder to shoulder with the US,” Hunt will declare.
“That means calling out and responding to transgressions with one voice whenever and wherever they occur, from the streets of Salisbury to the fate of Crimea,” he is to add.
He will refer to the nerve agent attack against Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury earlier this year, in which the Kremlin denies involvement.
Earlier this month, Washington imposed new sanctions on Russia affecting goods related to national security citing the Salisbury incident which involved the use of Novichok, as the chemical agent developed in the former Soviet Union is known.
The US demanded “reliable assurances” the Russia would no longer use chemical weapons. The new US sanctions caused Russia’s cost of borrowing to rise. A second wave of the same set of sanctions might also be implemented.
The European Union – of which the UK is still a member as Brexit is set for March 29, 2019 – has condemned Moscow for the alleged use of a chemical weapon in the Salisbury attack but has not introduced any new sanctions over the incident.
While the UK is still part of the EU, its policy on international sanctions is determined in Brussels on the EU-wide level.
The UK’s new Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt is going to address the UN Security Council on Thursday. Before that, he will meet US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
(Banner image: Jeremy Hunt on Twitter)