The European Union could impose more sanctions on Russia as the situation in Ukraine is deteriorating, Frederica Mogherini, the new boss of the European diplomacy said. In recent days, the situation in the Crimea and eastern Ukraine has worsened as violence on the ground escalated and illegal elections took place in the rebel-held territory. Frederica Mogherini added that “the so-called elections were a very negative sign” and suggested that there would be a need to discuss “what kind of next steps EU takes on the political level, what form of dialogue and political channel EU puts in place, and also what EU’s strategy on sanctions will be.”
On 2 November, Ukraine’s two self-declared separatist republics – the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic – held presidential elections, just a few days after Ukraine’s had held its own parliamentary elections. The poll was not in compliance with the truce of 5 September that was negotiated between the rebels and the Ukrainian government. The September agreement stated that Ukrainian-run elections in the rebel territories would take place in December this year.
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko said earlier this week that the separatists’ elections jeopardize “the entire peace process” and his government was a “firm supporter of the peace plan.” Given the unfavourable political situation in the rebel areas, President Poroshenko threatened that he would reconsider the special status that was given to the separatist states by the September truce. Both Washington and Brussels supported Kiev and condemned the elections, while Moscow said that it “respected the will of the people of the rebel areas.” As a response, Mrs Mogherini reminded of the EU’s vocal support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Her statements echoed those of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said that the block ought to consider expanding sanctions against the Kremlin.