Tuomioja satisfied with EU stance on Russia sanctions

YLE NewsEye on the Arctic

Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja says that he’s satisfied with the results of a meeting of European Union foreign ministers on Tuesday.

On the agenda was tougher action against Russia after a Malaysian Airlines passenger plane crashed in territory held by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine after apparently being shot down by an anti-aircraft missile.

The meeting agreed that new names would be added to the list of individuals subjected to sanctions, but stopped short of broader measures against the Russian economy.

The UN Security Council has demanded investigators be granted full access to the crash site, and Tuomioja says that sanctions will be stepped up if Russia does not comply with demands from the international community.

“This is a small step forward,” said Tuomioja after the meeting. “The (UN) Security Council accepted for the first time a resolution on Ukraine, which mandates actions to help the investigation of this crash or shooting.”

Finland has sounded a note of caution on sanctions because of the economic links between Finland and Russia. Premier Alexander Stubb said last week that he had to fight hard to ensure Finland’s border cooperation with Russia would not be affected by sanctions expanded before the Malaysian Airlines plane went down.

This story is posted on Alaska Dispatch News as part of Eye on the Arctic, a collaborative partnership between public and private circumpolar media organizations.