Friday, February 13, 2015

EU warns Russia over Ukraine agreement

February 13, 2015 (BBC News Europe) Russia will face fresh sanctions from the EU if a deal to end the Ukraine war is not fully implemented, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned. She said EU leaders had asked officials to prepare further sanctions in case an agreed ceasefire was not respected. The leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France sealed a deal on Thursday after marathon talks in Belarus. The ceasefire is due to begin in eastern Ukraine at midnight on Saturday but both sides remain sceptical. Pro-Russian rebels have signed the agreement, which also includes weapon withdrawals and prisoner exchanges, but key issues remain to be settled. Clashes between government forces and the rebels continued on Thursday and one Russian-backed commander said his forces would not stop fighting.
Thousands of people have died in almost a year of fighting in the region. In another development, the World Bank said on Thursday it was ready to provide up to $2bn billion (£1.3bn) in financial assistance to Ukraine this year as part of an international package of support.