Prague may reject stricter sanctions in case of economic loss-PM


31.08.2014 08:44

Brussels - The Czech Republic stipulated that it would have the right to reject tightened EU sanctions against Russia if they were to cause disproportionately high economic losses, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has said.


Ilustrační foto - Český premiér Bohuslav Sobotka přichází 30. srpna v Bruselu na mimořádný summitu EU k situaci na Ukrajině a unijním personálním otázkám. ČTK Dospiva Jakub

The EU summit decided in the night that the European Commission (EC) along with diplomats would draw up proposals for new sanctions against Russia over its action in Ukraine within a week, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy told reporters.

Sobotka said particular drafts should be prepared on Monday.

The Czech Republic would then debate them, he added.

"I have stipulated that we will have the right not to agree with some parts of the proposal if we suppose it is not right for Europe to follow this direction," Sobotka told reporters.

The government will study the EC´s proposal, analyse its impact on the Czech economy and discuss it on Wednesday, probably, Sobotka said.

Then it will be apparent with what parts the Czech Republic can agree, Sobotka added.

Sobotka said he had doubts whether the tightening of sanctions can contribute to the solution to the escalating Ukrainian crisis.

Other countries, such as Austria, Hungary and Slovakia have expressed similar reserved stances, he added.

"I suppose that not only the Czech Republic will submit comments on the European Commission´s proposal," Sobotka noted.

The United States welcomed the EU summit´s decision about sanctions.

White House National Security spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in a statement that Washington welcomes the European Council's consensus to show strong support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and to prepare further sanctions against Russia.

The summit results show the EU´s readiness to apply further sanctions in connection with the developments in Ukraine. The EU reacted to the worsening situation in eastern Ukraine where Russian soldiers and military equipment were directly involved in combat actions, according to the West and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko who addressed the summit.

In reaction to the Russian annexation of Crimea, the EU froze the property and banned entry of more than 100 persons and firms from Russia. In the summer, the EU approved the first package of economic sanctions against Moscow restricting the Russian access to financial markets as well as the export of equipment used for oil and gas mining in difficult conditions.

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