I am deeply disappointed about the COREPER decision.
In the light of the European Council Conclusions of 27 June and the signing of Ukraine – EU Association Agreement we expected more decisive and significant sanctions, including transition to the third stage.
At the same time, despite the ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine and numerous facts proving direct involvement and coordination of terrorist with the Moscow authorities, the EU has only managed to slightly extend the sanction list by including representatives of the so-called separatists.
Given the need to contain the aggressor, such a “progress” may be considered as imitation of activity or a process for the sake of process. It seems like some Member States are playing a double game. This is the only way how I can explain the facts when, for instance, the Foreign Minister of one Member State, just after visiting Kyiv, comes to Moscow and invites the Kremlin leadership to attend the ASEM (Asia – Europe) Summit in October, and representatives of the two other influential Member States are not only struggling to avoid the third level of sanctions but use every opportunity to incline Ukraine to negotiations with terrorists, who refuse laying down their arms, continue kidnapping Ukrainian citizens and holding hostages.
It is also sad that under the pressure of continuous blackmailing by Moscow authorities the EU tends to forget about the annexation of the Crimea and systematic violation of the rights of the Crimean Tatars, including the ban on entry to the territory of the Crime of the national leaders R.Chubarov and M.Dzhemilev.
Although I hardly believe in it, I hope that following the European Council meeting on 16 July the EU will move from the wait-and-see to more resolute fundamental approach. It is not hard: one just needs to analyze implementation by Moscow of the Council’s demands dated 27 June, and the absence of progress there is obvious.
For more than 10 years the European Union has been persuading Ukraine that democratic values are more important than economic and trade benefits. On 22 July we are going to have another portion of those lectures within the Ministerial meeting in the format of 28 Member States and 6 Eastern European Partners of the EU. Now the EU has an opportunity to prove its commitment to this approach in practice.