Tag Archives: #UnitedForUkraine

#Poroshenko: ‘Today Ukraine is bleeding for its independence and territorial integrity’


by Kyiv Post.
Editor’s Note: The following is the transcript of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s speech to the Canadian parliament in Ottawa on Sept. 17. Scroll down for the video
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko speaks to supporters of Ukraine during a rally on Parliament Hill in Ottawa during his first official visit to Canada, September 17, 2014.Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko speaks to supporters of Ukraine during a rally on Parliament Hill in Ottawa during his first official visit to Canada, September 17, 2014. AFP PHOTO/GEOFF ROBINS © AFP

Mr. Prime Minister,

Speaker Kinsella,

Speaker Scheer,

Honorable Members of the Senate and House of Commons,

Honorable Members of the Diplomatic Community,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

It is a deeply felt honor to address this distinguished legislative body.

I must thank you, Prime Minister, for inviting me to come to Canada, Speaker Kinsella and Speaker Scheer – for giving me such outstanding opportunity to address the Canadian Parliament. I see this as a tribute to my country and the Ukrainian people, and an expression of the unique, distinctive partnership that our nations enjoy.

Let me also just once use the third “official language” of Canada – Ukrainian:

Дякую вам за цю честь, дорогі друзі!

To be frank with you – I feel very much at home with you here today in a country that is very close to Ukraine. Not distantly but through our hearts and common ideas.

Indeed, Canada has become home to so many Ukrainians. The descendants of those early Ukrainian settlers who came here more than a century ago. In 1892, a century before Canada was the first to recognize Ukraine’s independence, the first Ukrainian emigrants Ivan Pylypiv and Vasyl Yelynyak arrived. They launched further numerous Ukrainian emigration to the Pacific Coast settling across the woods and prairies of Canada. The Ukrainian community has easily integrated into the Canadian society. They built railways and towns, schools and churches, heroically fought against the Nazi during the World War Second, contributed to the Canadian economy and culture. Later, the sons and daughters of farmers became prominent members of Canadian society – businessmen, scientists, artists, athletes and politicians. One of them, Ramon Hnatyshyn, became the Governor General of Canada.

The list is long and impressive – Premiers of Saskatchewan and Manitoba Roy Romanow and Gary Filmon, senators Raynell Andreychuk and David Tkachuk, artist William Kurylyk, hockey superstars Terry Sawchuk and Wayne Gretzky, and woman-astronaut Doctor Roberta Bondar.

We highly praise great Ukrainian-Canadian sculptor Leo Mol who crafted one of the best Taras Shevchenko monuments in the world, in Washington DC.

If I continue with the list, we will run out of time for this session.

Today the Ukrainian Canadian community is over a million people. It is strong, it is consolidated, it preserves the language of their Homeland, faith and traditions. Ukraine has always felt proud of Ukrainian Canadians and is grateful for their lasting support.

On behalf of the people of Ukraine, I would like to express gratitude to you, brothers and sisters, for your lasting support!

However, it is not only history that bonds us, but also the shared values that make Canada and Ukraine integral parts of a global family of democracies.

Today Ukraine pays a very high price for defending what we believe in – democracy and freedom to choose our own future. For more than two decades we proudly stated that Ukraine gained its independence without shedding a single drop of blood.

Today Ukraine is bleeding for its independence and territorial integrity.

Governor General of Canada Ramon Hnatyshyn in his speech at the Ukrainian Parliament in 1992 stated: “We must not forget people’s suffering which we are witnessing”. That day he spoke of brave Ukrainian and Canadian soldiers who kept the peace across the world in conflict and unrest zones. These words remain so true, as never before.

Today thousands of brave Ukrainian men and women are sacrificing their lives for the right to live the way they chose to, on their land, under the blue and golden colors of the Ukrainian flag, colors which are so dear to many Canadian Ukrainians. In these dark days we feel your support.

It is time we see our friends in our need. And there is no other way to put it – Canada is a friend indeed.

As Commander-in-Chief, as a Ukrainian and a father of a soldier, I thank Canada for each life that is being saved today in the Ukrainian Donbas by a bulletproof vest or a helmet you gave us.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s speech to the Canadian parliament on Sept. 17 in Ottawa.

Once again I thank you, Mr. Prime Minister, and your Government, to the Opposition, to Canadian parliamentarians and senators, all Canadians and fellow Ukrainians for standing tall and making your voice heard. For helping financially, with technical assistance and non-lethal military aid, for supporting us at the international fora such the UN or NATO or G-7.

I would like to use this great opportunity to thank all Canadian Parliamentarians for their continuous support of Ukraine. I would like to especially thank for the emergency debates in this House of Commons during critical periods of the Maidan Revolution of Human Dignity. We heard your voice and it was important for us. It is also due to your support that we have won. Thank you for that.

I would like to express gratefulness for the work of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs committee on Ukraine, for the election observation mission which helped ensure that the will of the Ukrainian people was respected. 500 observers were the biggest mission during our elections. It confirmed that the elections were transparent and fair. You helped us establish a new Government in Ukraine. Thank you. We are expecting your mission on Oct. 26 at parliamentary elections in Ukraine for we want to show that they will also be fair and transparent.

Thank you for many visits by Parliamentarians and Ministers, and for your visit to inauguration, Mr. Prime Minister. Canada was one of the first countries to recognize Ukraine’s independence. You also promptly recognized the results of the presidential elections and it was important for us. You are always with us at the most critical junctures.

Also I would like to thank Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird for his support of Ukraine during Maidan.

I have a long list of sincere gratitude. I really feel your support. I am confident that we will have peace, we will stop the war with the assistance of the whole world. We will do everything for the world to be united. Canada helps us, it shows that it is with Ukraine. Thank you!

Without this support provided by the Government of Canada, by all parliamentarians and by the Ukrainian Canadian community under the leadership of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, it would be much harder for Ukraine to face the challenges of today.

No other leader or nation, no one, I mean it, with the possible exception of Poland was so straightforward and earnest when sending the signal across to Russians and the rest of the world that fighting a nation which is trying to chart its own path is just conceptually wrong. That arming rebels with advanced antiaircraft systems, providing them with operators, intelligence and flight data is wrong. Those who were equipped, trained and financed by Russia executed a terrorist attack shooting down a civilian MH17 flight killing 298 innocent lives of nationals of Netherlands, Malaysia, Australia and others. One Canadian was killed as well.

I think that war in the east of Ukraine is war against terrorism. It is our common war. I am confident of that.

With your support, with the support of global community we will win this struggle. And we will fulfill the dreams of many Ukrainians in our homeland and across the world – Ukraine will be a strong, independent European nation.

Yesterday was one of the most important days in the history of Ukraine. The Verkhovna Rada ratified the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement. When I was in the Parliament yesterday, it was the last “goodbye” from Ukraine to the Soviet Union.

It was the last Rubicon that we had to cross. We will never return to our awful past. I am confident that our values, our freedom, our democracy, our European future and prospects of participation in various international organizations can be achieved. For Ukrainians passed one of the most difficult tests. We paid the highest price for the desire to be a European country. That’s why we will defend our independence and freedom. We want to become a fully-fledged member of the EU.

This happened simultaneously with the ratification at the European and broadcasted in the two parliaments.

Implementation of the agreement will not only harmonize Ukraine’s trade and customs rules with the EU standards, it will help my country draw closer to democratic norms and market-oriented economy.

At the NATO Wales Summit I’ve declared my country’s desire to move closer with NATO and become the closest non-NATO ally. I hope you will support this.

all Allies strongly condemn Russia’s aggression on Ukraine, illegal annexation of Crimea and stand ready to support territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine within the internationally recognized borders.

I am thankful to Canada; your country was one of the soundest supporters of Ukraine at that summit and committed to provide $1 million to the NATO Trust Fund. It will help Ukraine build up its Command, Control, Communications, and Computers capabilities.

Dear friends, let’s look beyond the crisis and war. Let’s think how we enhance the Special Partnership between Ukraine and Canada.

I am convinced that we need to pay more attention to the bilateral cooperation in such spheres as energy, trade, investments, information and air-space technologies.

In cooperation with Canada we hope to accomplish an ambitious project of consolidating Ukraine’s informational space. By launching the telecommunication satellite built by Canadian company MDA we will be finally able to provide all our regions with reliable and trustworthy information as well as to export telecommunication services.

There should be more projects like this.

I hope that both negotiating teams translated our firm signal, Prime Minister’s and mine, and next time we see each other, we will have Ukraine-Canada Free Trade Agreement ready to sign.

Having said that I can’t help but mentioning one particular program that played significant role in enhancing our people-to-people contacts – I talk about Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Program (CUPP).

During the years of independence CUPP has hosted over a thousand of students from Ukraine, who were able to work as interns right here at the Canadian Parliament. This program has given birth to some sparkling stars in the Ukrainian social and political universe. Some of the CUPP graduates take high positions in our government; some of them are leaders of the Ukrainian civil society and business community.

I thank the Canadian Parliament and the Ukrainian Diaspora for helping us breed a new generation of Ukrainian leaders.

Mr. Prime Minister,

I remember you mentioning that Canada is probably the most Ukrainian nation outside Ukraine itself. This is true. Let me reciprocate. There are great European nations, which stood at the source of foundation of modern Canada. Canada has friends all over the Globe, and the closest one next to it. However, I doubt that you will find another nation, which could tell, so sincerely, what I am about to tell you. Ukraine is probably the most Canadian nation after Canada itself.

I had this feeling today at the meeting with a lot of Canadians. Thank you for that.

Let me refer to Winston’s Churchill’s words who truly loved your country and visited it seven times from 1900 to 1954. We recall him as brave leader who confronted the Nazi aggression with courage. In summer 1929 he wrote from Canada to his wife: “Darling, I am greatly attracted to this country…I am profoundly touched and I intend to devote my strength to interpreting Canada to our people.”

These words resemble my feelings today. I won’t write these words to my wife since she is here with me today. I will simply tell her this. And again, please let me quote Churchill once again: “I love coming to Canada. God bless your country.”

Thank you! Merci! Дякую! And Glory to Ukraine!


Kyiv Post.

Brian Bonner: #Vakarchuk steals show on first night of #Pinchuk’s forum


by Brian Bonner.
Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, the star of Okean Elzy rock band, scores points with the crowd on Sept. 11 for his pointed criticism of Ukraine's elites. He was part of an opening panel discussion at billionaire Victor Pinchuk's annual Yalta European Strategy conference, held in Kyiv this year after Russia's takeover of Ukraine's Crimea peninsual.Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, the star of Okean Elzy rock band, scores points with the crowd on Sept. 11 for his pointed criticism of Ukraine’s elites. He was part of an opening panel discussion at billionaire Victor Pinchuk’s annual Yalta European Strategy conference, held in Kyiv this year after Russia’s takeover of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsual. © Anastasia Vlasova

Ukrainian billionaire Victor Pinchuk’s crowd, assembled every year for the Yalta European Strategy, tried to get into the groove at this year’s opening reception on Sept. 11. But everything was off-kilter since, instead of Russian-annexed Crimea, the guests were assembled in Kyiv’s Mystetskyi Arsenal.

Sure, the wine flowed freely and the food was abundant, as usual.

Many guests, including journalists, were eating up and drinking up as Chrystia Freeland, the Canadian member of parliament, author and former journalist, interviewed a panel that included Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko, Okean Elzy rock star Syvatoslav “Slava” Vakarchuk and billionaire Sergiy Taruta.

The talk was fairly predictable until Vakarchuk — who is used to charging up audiences with his music — triggered applause by directing pointed criticism at some of the people in the audience for not building a strong Ukrainian state during 23 years of independence.

No, he did not mention any of the elite by name or single out anyone among the hundreds in the crowd.

But, in the audience, ex-President Viktor Yushchenko, host Pinchuk, his wife Elena Pinchuk, Taruta and representatives of various billionaire oligarchs in the crowd — Dmytro Firtash’s man, Boris Krasnyansky, and Rinat Akhmetov’s guy, Jock Mendoza Wilson — might have reason to think he was talking about them.

Speaking to the “rich and influential” people gathered, Vakarchuk asked, in reference to the Kremlin-backed separatist war in the eastern Donbas: “What have you done in these 23 years to prevent the situation we have today?”

People applauded.

He went on to answer his own question by blaming the political elite of the nation for “23 years of doing nothing” for people — not treating them with courtesy, sympathy or dignity, not helping them build prosperous and hopeful lives.

“You are just using these people, using these people, using these people!” he exclaimed.

More applause.

During the same discussion, Vakarchuk said Ukraine needs to do a better job of countering Kremlin propaganda and he called on the world to impose tough sanctions against Russia. “If you really want to help Ukraine, you need to feel a little pain in order not to feel a big pain later,” he said.

Afterwards, Vakarchuk told me that he is glad to have delivered the scathing criticism and that he planned the remarks.

He still wouldn’t name names, but said he assigns blame for Ukraine’s crisis proportionate to power and influence. “All presidents, all prime ministers, rich people” bear “bigger responsibility” than others for the fate of the nation, he said.

“I don’t have any posts or positions, so I say what I want,” Vakarchuk said. “Right or wrong, at least it’s honest.”

We’ll see how much more honesty will be forthcoming this weekend at Pinchuk’s 11th annual Yalta European Strategy — in Kyiv.

(Kyiv Post chief editor Brian Bonner can be reached at bribonner@gmail.com).


Kyiv Post.

#Poroshenko says #separatist areas could get greater #autonomy, but #rebels demand more!


by Michael Birnbaum and Daniela Deane.
A Pro-Russian fighter gestures in Troitsko-Khartsyzk, 30 Km east of Donetsk, on August 28, 2014A Pro-Russian fighter gestures in Troitsko-Khartsyzk, 30 Km east of Donetsk, on August 28, 2014. © AFP

MOSCOW – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Sept. 10 that rebel-held areas in eastern Ukraine could be granted greater autonomy, but vowed they will always remain part of the country, pro-Russian separatists however repeated demands that they be given full independence.

In remarks to his cabinet in Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, Poroshenko stressed that the rebels must consider political compromises as the next step after a tenuous cease-fire that took effect Friday.

The “fate of peace” depends on it, Poroshenko said. He said he will introduce legislation next week on the status of the rebel-held regions to give them more local power, although he offered few details.

The prospect of handing over any amount of control to the rebels is deeply unpopular among many of Poroshenko’s pro-European allies even though it appears to be the main condition of the cease-fire deal.

He asked the cabinet to help preserve the peace in eastern Ukraine.

Perhaps we will not be happy with the composition of local deputies elected by residents of Luhansk and Donetsk in early elections to municipal and district councils. But isn’t it better to administer policy through ballots instead of automatic gunfire and Grad volleys?” he said, referring to the truck-mounted multiple-rocket systems that both sides have used to inflict devastation.

The cease-fire, meanwhile, appeared largely to hold despite sporadic clashes. Poroshenko said Russia had pulled back about 70 percent of the troops who Ukraine and Western allies said had crossed the border. It was not possible to confirm his claim. Russia has denied sending troops into Ukraine.

In Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged European Union partners to quickly impose new sanctions on Russia for its role in the Ukraine crisis. The potential economic measures have been on hold as the European Union assesses the cease-fire. The bloc appears poised to go forward with sanctions as soon as Thursday.

Separatists on Wednesday repeated their demands for full independence, and both sides appeared to doubt the endurance of the truce.

We fully and absolutely insist on our republic’s independence within the boundaries of the Donetsk region,” Andrei Purgin, a top rebel leader, told the Interfax news service.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, said in Moscow that Russia will defend itself against threats, including NATO’s bolstered presence near the country’s borders.

The Kremlin will “take adequate response measures to ensure our security,” he said at a meeting of his security advisers.

(Michael Birnbaum is The Post’s Moscow bureau chief. He previously served as the Berlin correspondent and an education reporter. Daniela Deane reported from Rome).


The Washington Post.

The #Russians #protesting against the #Ukraine conflict


A small number of Russians have braved public disapproval and possible arrest to stand against Moscow’s actions in Ukraine. RFE/RL’s Russian Service spoke to some of them.

A man holds a sign during a protest against the conflict in eastern Ukraine in the centre of Moscow on 28 August. The sign reads: “No war” Photograph: Sergei Karpukhin/ReutersA man holds a sign during a protest against the conflict in eastern Ukraine in the centre of Moscow on 28 August. The sign reads: “No war” Photograph: Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

The Afghanistan veteran

Vladimir Barabanov is a veteran of the Soviet war in Afghanistan and heads a local branch of the Union of Afghanistan Veterans in Russia’s western Bryansk Oblast. Barabanov, a senior reserve lieutenant who served in Herat and Kabul between 1986-88, held a protest with fellow veterans on 5 September. A second demonstration is scheduled for 13 September.

“We remember perfectly how Afghanistan started. We don’t want those events to repeat themselves,” Barabanov says. “They told us, the last Soviet soldiers, that the war in Afghanistan war would be the last – that our losses weren’t in vain, that our colleagues died so that such wars would never be repeated. The war that is currently going on in Ukraine with Russia’s participation nullifies those losses”.

How will we look Ukrainians in the eye tomorrow?

“Authorities need to distract people from social problems using a small victorious war. I think that the reason for the war is social. People are unsatisfied, both in Russia and in Ukraine. They’re looking for someone to blame for our bad lives. All this looks like a special operation – as former soldiers, we can see that perfectly well”.

“How will we look Ukrainians in the eye tomorrow? The war will end, and a Ukrainian will ask: ‘And where were you, why didn’t you say anything? Didn’t your son fight against mine?’ The blame will be on all of us. Those of us who are going out on the square want to say that we have no relations to this filth. Why do they hide the loses of the Russian forces? The same thing happened in Afghanistan. There are a lot of analogies.”

(Interview by Arslan Saidov, read in full in Russian).

The retired geologist

Muscovite Irina Epifanovskaya, 59, is a retired geologist who now spends much of her time engaged in civil activism. She was arrested in central Moscow after she stood alone and holding a small sign reading “No war with Ukraine”.

Muscovite Irina Epifanovskaya was arrested in central MoscowMuscovite Irina Epifanovskaya was arrested in central Moscow Photograph: Irina Epifanovskaya.

“A lot of people simply walk by when you’re protesting. But since I’ve spent my entire summer doing this, I can say that I’ve seen an enormous shift since June and July,” Epifanovskaya says.

“In recent weeks, people have come up to me and shaken my hand two or three times; some thanked me or said they supported me. There wasn’t anything like that before. It’s because this undeclared war has entered a new stage, one whose traces are already clearly visible – the ‘cargo 200’ coffins [believed to transport Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine].”

“I’ve already lived most of my life. All of my basic needs are attended to. My children are grown. I had a profession, I had things I loved to do, and I still do. I’m beyond being afraid of what might happen to me when I protest. It hit me so hard, in the deepest part of my soul, that permission was given to send troops to Ukraine! It should be clear to any sensible person that Russia can’t fight with the nation that’s closest to it. I look at it as my personal affair and my personal grief.”

(Interview by Lyubov Chizhova, read in full in Russian)

The advocate

Aleksandr Osovtsov is a former lawmaker and director of the Open Russia fund. He offers free legal assistance to Russian soldiers who refuse to participate in military operations in Ukraine. He details the right of conscientious objectors under Russian law in a post on his Facebook page.

“I believe what’s going on right now is an absolutely full-fledged war,” says Osovtsov. “Maybe the parties have yet to use their full forces and means, but the United States didn’t use its full force in Vietnam or Iraq, and no one was arguing that the phrase ‘Vietnam war’ had no right to exist. It was a war, and it’s the same thing here. As soon as Russian military units were located on Ukrainian territory and engaging in hostilities, it was a war.

At the moment the chance of an anti-war movement in Russia is very small

“It’s legally possible for those who want to refuse to serve in Ukraine to do so. Every person should decide for himself. That, of course, won’t stop the war, but it can give people the chance not to participate if they don’t want to – and moreover to do it on an absolutely legal basis. I know of quite a few cases when Russian soldiers refused to participate in fighting in Chechnya, and not one of them faced criminal liability as a result.

Aleksandr Osovtsov is a former lawmaker and director of the Open Russia fund Photograph: RFE/RLAleksandr Osovtsov is a former lawmaker and director of the Open Russia fund Photograph: RFE/RL

“At the moment the chance of an anti-war movement in Russia is very small. I really don’t want to think like this, but logically I can’t imagine another situation. It will take the ‘Cargo 200’ and ‘Cargo 300’ – code for dead and wounded – before people start to think and realise that no one normal needs this war.”

(Interview by Mark Krutov, read in full in Russian)

The film director

Film and theatre director Vladimir Mirzoyev was among the signatories of a recent open letter published in Novaya Gazeta protesting the war in Ukraine and what they called Russia’s self-isolation and the restoration of totalitarianism.

“I understand that our population is deeply traumatised by the entire 20th century,” Mirzoyev says. “These are people who can easily fall into a state of maniacal euphoria and patriotic psychosis, and just as easily fall into depression. It’s a bipolar disorder, where people react to generally frightening things in a completely inappropriate way. They deny that a war is being waged. It’s possible, of course, to say that Russians are a victim of TV propaganda, but after all it’s still not that hard to get on the internet to find alternative information to compare and contrast the facts. But they don’t want to compare anything, they can’t accept the thought that their country, their homeland, is the aggressor.

Our population is deeply traumatised by the entire 20th century

“Of course, the catastrophes of the 20th century aren’t lost on the population. All these traumas have been absorbed by families, recorded in the memories of entire generations, and these people aren’t healed. Now that they’ve started pouring salt and sulfuric acid on the wounds, they’re breaking down completely. People are very sick. And so they’re giving an inappropriate response.”

(Interview by Andrei Shary, read in full in Russian)

The physicist

Mikhail Lashkevich is a researcher at the Institute for Theoretical Physics in the town of Chernogolovka, outside Moscow. He was detained by police in August after standing on a busy Moscow street holding a poster reading “Why is our country led by a raging idiot?” on one side, and “It’s not your war, but your children are going to die in it!” on the other.

“I oppose the war precisely because it’s Russia that’s unleashing it, because it’s so obviously a war of aggression,” says Lashkevich. “I recently read a definition of aggression that is used at the United Nations, and of the seven points, there’s only one that Russia hasn’t violated. There’s one aggressive action that it hasn’t taken – it hasn’t allowed its territory to be used by a third aggressor. But it’s done everything else. It’s annexed territory, it’s introduced its own troops, it’s supported terrorist groups on the territory of a neighbouring country, and so on.

Mikhail Lashkevich was detained by police in August. Photograph: Mikhail LashkevichMikhail Lashkevich was detained by police in August. Photograph: Mikhail Lashkevich.

“I don’t discuss my views at work. I talk about it only with colleagues that I’m close to. It’s a fairly liberal situation in this sense. There’s no trouble at work.”

(Interview by Lyubov Chizhova, read in full in Russian)

The activist

Natalya Tsymbalova is a founding member of St Petersburg’s Straight Alliance, a human rights organisation that aims to rally heterosexual activists behind the fight for equality for Russia’s LGBT community. On Ukrainian independence day on 24 August, she was berated by a hostile crowd for standing on a central street carrying a sign reading, “Petersburg congratulates Ukraine on Independence Day.” She has since applied for asylum in Spain following after receiving threats of violence. She spoke to RFE/RL before leaving Russia.

There’s a feeling that the battle is hopeless and that it’s only going to get worse

“What’s happening now shows that we were right – this was never limited to gays. [Authorities] honed their technology of manipulation and propaganda on the LGBT community… and now exactly the same thing is happening with regard to Ukraine… they’re all ‘banderovtsy’ and ‘fascists’. It’s an absolutely virtual concept that has nothing to do with reality,” Tsymbalova says.

“A lot of people in our circles are thinking about leaving [Russia]. Even that small minority who have always said that this is our country and we’ll fight to the last are thinking about emigration. There’s a feeling that the battle is hopeless and that it’s only going to get worse… It’s all very dangerous and unpleasant, and the main thing is there’s no hope, no hope at all.”

(Interview by Dmitry Volchek, read in full in Russian)


The Guardian.

#EU holds back on new #Russia #sanctions to assess #ceasefire


A local resident carries a toy bear as a Ukrainian serviceman patrol on Sept. 8, 2014 near a residential building damaged during recent shelling in the Avdeevka, 5 kilometres north of Donetsk © AFP.A local resident carries a toy bear as a Ukrainian serviceman patrol on Sept. 8, 2014 near a residential building damaged during recent shelling in the Avdeevka, 5 kilometres north of Donetsk © AFP.

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union formally adopted a package of new sanctions against Russia on Monday, but said their entry into force would be delayed to leave time to assess whether a ceasefire in Ukraine is holding.

“The entry into force (of the new sanctions) through the publication in the Official Journal will take place in the next few days. This will leave time for an assessment of the implementation of the ceasefire agreement and the peace plan,” EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy said in a statement.

“Depending on the situation on the ground, the EU stands ready to review the agreed sanctions in whole or in part,” he said.

(Reporting by Adrian Croft; editing by Andrew Roche).


Yahoo Finance.