Czech foreign minister says sanctions against Russia should be extended

Czech foreign minister Lubomír Zaorálek has said that the European Union should prolong current sanctions against Russia in a month’s time. The comments were made in an interview with the Russian internet news server Gazeta.ru. Zaorálek said that there is evidence that Moscow continues to give heavy weapons to the separatists around Donbas and in the rest of Eastern Ukraine. It is also clear that thousands of Russian troops are planted not just on the Russian side of the border but also across it in Ukraine, he added. Russia denies direct involvement in the fighting between separatists and the government in Kiev. Minister Zaorálek’s comments contrast with the suggestion by president Miloš Zeman a week ago that the conflict in Eastern Ukraine appeared sporadic and that sanctions against Russia might be dropped by the end of the year if Moscow was shown to be abiding by the Minsk ceasefire conditions.

Author: Chris Johnstone