Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: EU’s new sanctions on Russia fall short of UK demands

US calls the Brussels agreement, which does not target energy sector, ‘feeble’

European foreign ministers agreed limited new targets for sanctions against Russian companies and individuals linked to the conflict in Ukraine today – but fell well short of demands by Britain and America to take decisive action against President Putin’s regime.

A senior American official described the agreement reached in Brussels as “feeble” after the EU announced it would produce a new wider list of Ukraine sanctions targets on Thursday.

EU foreign ministers did not agree to widen sanctions to include those entities supporting the Russian regime or agree to new restrictions on key sectors of the Russian economy such as oil and gas.

David Cameron admitted he was not satisfied with the weak EU sanctions package. “I think we are making progress but of course we need to do more”.

The EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Baroness Ashton, said officials would look at “capital markets, defence, and the energy sector” as possible targets for future sanctions.

Asked if Europe had been too soft on Russia, Lady Ashton said the EU had been “extremely determined” to try to improve the situation in Ukraine even before the tragedy of MH17 but added President Vladimir Putin should do more.

 

“We have called upon Russia to do what it can, and it can and should do more to ensure that those who see themselves as looking towards Russia for guidance get the strong message that this is unacceptable,” she said.

The meeting was overshadowed by a diplomatic spat between Britain and France over Mr Cameron’s attempt on Monday to shame President Hollande into cancelling the delivery of two Mistral helicopter carriers to Moscow. The Prime Minister told the House of Commons that such a deal would be “unthinkable” in Britain.

Video: The aftermath of MH17 crash

Jean-Christophe Cambadélis, head of the ruling Socialist Party, accused the British Government of being “hypocrites”. “When you see how many [Russian] oligarchs have sought refuge in London, David Cameron should start by cleaning up his own backyard,” he said.


The wrangling over the warships highlights the difficulties the EU has had in agreeing a joint line on dealing with Russia, a major gas supplier to Germany and Italy, as well as to central Europe.

Putting a brave face on the failure to agree wider sanctions Philip Hammond, the Foreign Secretary, said EU ministers had agreed to “concrete proposals” as well as looking at broader sanctions such as arms embargoes and access to capital and hi-tech goods. “What I have heard today is a clear political commitment by the foreign ministers in response to this outrage to act,” he said.

Vladimir Putin at a natural gas pipeline in Vladivostok in Russia’s far east in 2011 (Getty) Vladimir Putin at a natural gas pipeline in Vladivostok in Russia’s far east in 2011 (Getty)

“I would expect to see that process now moving forward.

“The cronies of Mr Putin and his clique in the Kremlin are the people who have to bear the pressure because it is only them feeling the pressure that will in turn put pressure on the Russian government.”

Asked about the French sale of helicopter carriers to Russia he replied: “This is a question for the French government.”

Baroness Ashton Ashton talks with Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond (Getty) Baroness Ashton Ashton talks with Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond (Getty)
The Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans said the EU’s “forceful decision” imposes visa bans and asset freezes on more officials.

He said the ministers also asked the 28-nation bloc’s executive arm to prepare for more forceful economic sanctions – including targeting the arms, energy and financial sectors – if Russia fails to back down from destabilising Ukraine. Mr Timmermans did not specify how many officials were targeted under the latest sanctions, nor did he reveal their names.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K YR1: SThree: At SThree, we like to be dif...

Guru Careers: Software Developer / Web Developer

£30 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Software / Web Developer (PHP / MYSQL) i...

Guru Careers: Account Executive

£18 - 20k + Benefits: Guru Careers: An Account Executive is needed to join one...

Guru Careers: Software Developer / Software Engineer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Software Developer / Software Engineer i...

Day In a Page

Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada