Outraged by Russia’s intensified air strikes on rebels in Syria, the European Union is now less likely to ease sanctions on Moscow over Ukraine, diplomats say, and some in the bloc are raising the prospect of more punitive steps against the Kremlin.
While the EU says conflicts in Syria and Ukraine need to be kept separate, the latest military offensive by Damascus and its ally Moscow on rebel-held eastern Aleppo further clouds the strained ties between Moscow and the bloc.
That weakens the hand of Italy, Hungary and others who have steadily increased pressure for easing sanctions, returning to doing business and re-engaging with Moscow after first hitting it with punitive measures for annexing Crimea in March 2014.
“It’s clear that the assault on Aleppo has changed the mindset of some. It will be impossible to back an easing of sanctions on Ukraine in the current context,” said one EU foreign minister.
A French diplomatic source echoed the view, saying: “The prospect of the Russian sanctions over Ukraine being lifted are practically nil after Aleppo.”
https://www.endtime.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/r.jpeg 392 580 alphatimes https://endtime.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/endtime-logo.png alphatimes2016-10-12 00:00:002018-03-28 19:05:10Escalation in Syria means EU less likely to soften stance on Russia