EU deliberates further sanctions on Russia
After the attack on a residential area in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, the EU foreign ministers plan to discuss further economic sanctions against Russia on Thursday. The EU is yet again being far too hesitant, some commentators criticise. Others go a step further and say Ukraine should be given weapons.
Europe too slow in tightening sanctions
The EU has reacted far too slowly to last weekend's deadly attack on Mariupol, the national conservative daily Latvijas avīze criticises: "The attempt to react quickly has failed and the EU foreign ministers are gathering on Thursday rather than Monday, as initially planned. This time France is largely responsible for the delay. Naturally France has its own interests in Russia, embodied by the 'Mistral'. But just two weeks ago people all over Europe were joining hands in solidarity with Paris and protesting the terrorist attack against the people of that country. The terrorist attack in Mariupol is just as important and also a reason to show solidarity quickly."
Show Putin where to draw the line
The EU must crank up the pressure on Russia after the most recent tragedy in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, Russian political scientist Andrej Piontkowski urges on the online portal 15min: "The West's reaction in the coming days will be very important. Much has been said so far, so now we must wait and see whether serious sanctions will follow. ... I would not pin any hopes on a resolution by the UN Security Council. This organisation has been incapable of action for decades - above all because of the veto right that Russia is currently abusing. ... However if important decisions are not taken after the meeting [of EU foreign ministers on Thursday], Vladimir Putin will think the West has swallowed yet another of his crimes and allow the conflict to escalate further."
Don't hesitate on sanctions against Russia
Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann spoke out on Tuesday against extending the economic sanctions against Russia. The daily Kurier disagrees: "The EU is responding with the only means it has: tightening the sanctions. Even if Chancellor Feymann and others like the head of the Chamber of Commerce Christoph Leitl cry out in dismay at the economic consequences: 'Now is the time for diplomacy to restore lost trust.' (Leitl) What trust? Our trust in Putin and the separatists, who for almost a year now have been working doggedly on their goal of creating a land corridor to Crimea? A corridor to a Crimea whose annexation by Russia everyone except Ukraine has long since accepted? True, sanctions won't stop them. ... Which means the sanctions are just a signal. But a signal that shows that the free world won't tolerate this course of action any more than it will tolerate other ambitions for expansion."
Only armed Ukraine can force peace
The West should supply Kiev with weapons so that continued intervention becomes so expensive for Moscow that it is forced to agree to a political solution, Ivo Daalder, head of the Chicago Council of Global Affairs, urges in the conservative daily Financial Times: "To date, the arguments against direct military assistance to Ukraine have won out. Fears of escalation and concerns that such steps would undermine a political solution have dominated the European debate. ... As for a political settlement, it should be evident that Mr Putin will settle only when the costs of continuing the war are too high. Supplying arms to Ukraine will raise the costs to Russia, increasing the likelihood that a real settlement can be negotiated. The time for doing so is now."