The German Chancellor’s tough message underlines how America and the EU have agreed a joint response to Ukraine crisis
Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, has promised that Russia will not “get away” with “annexing” Crimea as world powers agreed to impose targeted sanctions on senior figures close to the Kremlin.
Mrs Merkel told a meeting of her parliamentary party that Russia’s intervention in Ukraine violated the principles of post-war order in Europe.
Her stark message came as America and the European Union agreed a joint response to Russia’s de facto seizure of Crimea, backed by other countries including Canada and Japan.
Mrs Merkel told MPs from the Christian Democratic Union: “What has happened in Crimea is an annexation which Russia must not be allowed to get away with.”
She warned that sanctions on Russia were justified even if they damaged the German economy, according to Der Spiegel. The two countries have close economic ties, with bilateral trade exceeding £63 billion last year. Germany now ranks as Russia’s third-biggest trading partner.
But Mrs Merkel said that a “certain amount of toughness” was required and “all European Union countries from Lisbon to Riga” should “stick together” to defend “European values”. She added, however, that “threads of communication” with the Kremlin should still be preserved.
The trigger for the sanctions will be the referendum in Crimea on Sunday, which will decide if this region of Ukraine joins Russia.
European Union foreign ministers will meet on Monday – the day after the vote – with the authority to impose sanctions on “persons responsible for actions which undermine or threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine”.
The targeted individuals will be prevented from visiting the EU’s 28 member states. Any “funds and economic resources” they may hold in the EU will also be frozen. As for who might be singled out, about 20 Russians close to Mr Putin are believed to be possible targets, including senior military and civilian officials and MPs.
The foreign ministers will also warn Russia against formally annexing Crimea after the referendum, saying this step would risk further sanctions.
Full article: Angela Merkel: Russia ‘will not get away’ with annexation of Crimea (The Telegraph)