Imposition of new sanctions against individuals and entities in Russia and in the Donbas are postponed until Feb. 16 at the request of the Ukrainian party, Polish Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna said in Brussels on Monday after the EU Council on Foreign Affairs. "This is the Ukrainian party's request not to impose these sanctions today - definitely to agree upon sanctions today and enter them into force on Monday. It was hard to refuse," Schetyna said, Ukrinform reports citing PAP.
According to Schetyna, Ukrainian party believes that such a gesture will "facilitate negotiations attempts and may give a new chance." If there's a chance for some progress, truce, and cessation of hostilities, this will "always make sense," the head of the Polish Foreign Ministry said. At the same time Schetyna does not believe that the negotiations in Minsk on Wednesday "will lead to some breakthrough or solution." The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry considers a trade-off alternative of postponed sanctions a victory of Kyiv, while part of the EU member states intended to block new sanctions.
"There is a reverse situation. We did not ask the EU to delay the sanctions but rather convinced the colleagues of the need to take the decision to expand sanctions, albeit delayed," Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine roving envoy Dmytro Kuleba said. He reported that some EU ministers advocated against imposition of new sanctions against Russia until Minsk negotiations take place. "Minister Klimkin held a number of telephone conversations, telling colleagues that such a decision would be counterproductive," he said.