EU extension of sanctions against Russia is only the last chapter of the Ukrainian crisis. As appeared in the latest months, the ceasefire between Kiev and sepatists looks like a band-aid.
The EU ambassadors from the 28 member states approved on June 21 to prolong the sanctions against Moscow until 31 January 2017. Main justifications are two: annexation of Crimea and presence in Ukraine.
Despite it’s approved unanimously, a part of Western public opinion, but also Italy, Hungary and Greece do not shared this choice. Indeed, Russia is a strategic partner in Syria against Islamic State; but also from economical viewpoint, because of several European partnerships with Moscow.
Putin trip in China on June 22, come on the heels of European sanctions, demonstrated the will to find new economical and financial partners after more than two years of sanctions. As noted by Mark McNamee, Central and Eastern Europe analyst at Frontier Strategy Group at CNBC, “Strengthening energy ties with China and India would serve Putin’s geopolitical interests further, while also stealing market share from the Saudis. In economic terms, other than energy, Russia is unable to offer much of anything to China. Of far more importance is the political support Russia offers, regarding foreign policy matters at the United Nations, Group of 20 and other venues … China, naturally, is happy to have a useful ally as it seeks to reform the existing U.S.-led order to attain its geopolitical goals. ”
“It’s clear that for the changes to be made to the constitution, preliminary conditions must be met. Russian forces must be withdrawn from Ukraine,” Poroshenko told French television. While Moscow continues to turn down every charges.
Meanwhile, the ceasefire in Ukraine is falsely going on, as demonstrated by 3 Ukrainian soldiers killed on June 18 or by the dreadful video, reported by Daily Mail, which shows Ukrainian soldiers burying alive a sepatist. And the large number of tanks in Donbass means that civil war has not already finished.
So, after Minsk II, new talks are very necessary. Islamic issue and an updated fair-trade between EU and Russia are the two main questions for International Community.