Mingarelli: Sanctions for Russia to be Discussed Soon
He said that the EU has asked Russia to release, without any delay, the seized vessels and detained crew
Ukraine is closer now to the European Union than ever before.
The idea of slow but steady European integration has inspired Ukrainians to fight for progressive values. This idea mobilized people and led to the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine.
Ukraine has recently imposed martial law in ten regions after Russia’s attack on Ukrainian vessels and detaining of Ukrainian sailors. EU representatives have been emphasizing that the Union stays committed in supporting Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Hugues Mingarelli, head of the EU delegation to Ukraine, joined UATV to talk about Ukraine’s path to the EU.
“This Russian attack against three Ukrainian vessels is the last of a series of steps which were being taken since May this year by Russia to make it more and more difficult for Ukrainian vessels, not only Ukrainian, but for all vessels to reach ports of Berdyansk and Mariupol. In May, they inaugurated this bridge, which makes it impossible for vessels higher than 33 meters to go now to the Azov Sea. Then, Putin placed the embargo on investigative control which delays the passage of vessels in the Azov Sea for days, and now they carried out this military aggression,” Mingarelli said.
“All this is obviously unacceptable, and we have very bad consequences on the population of south-east Ukraine. On our side, we ask the Russians to release, without any delay, the vessels and the crew, 24 Ukrainian sailors, who are arrested and detained today. This is just scandalous. We demand the Russians as well to ensure unhindered passage through the Kerch Strait for all vessels.”
According to him, the European political leadership has made a very clear statement that condemns Russian policy and aggression.
“I know that some of them have already raised the need to consider additional sanctions. I am sure that our member states will discuss this issue in the framework of the Council. It will be discussed in the next few weeks for sure,” Mingarelli said.
When asked about the current stage of implementation of the Association Agreement, Mingarelli said that Ukraine has taken important steps to ensure that it will be carried through.
“Significant progress has been made in energy efficiency, environment, public procurement, education. For example, in the economic field, this year, 42 percent of Ukrainian exports go to EU markets. Four years ago, the same figure was 25 percent. So, we jumped from 25 to 42 percent of Ukrainian exports which go to the EU markets, and it’s sure, clearly, that Ukraine is increasingly integrated economically with the EU. You have, obviously, some agricultural products, such as honey or wheat, but you have as well increase in transformed products and services which go to the EU markets,” he said.
Watch the full interview with Mingarelli tonight at 10 p.m on UATV.