EU upholds sanctions against Russia amid Ukraine crisis, Moscow responds

  • 2014-10-21
  • From wire reports, RIGA

The EU has agreed to furthering sanctions against Russia amid the crisis in the Ukraine.

The announcement came after the meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg on Monday.  The Foreign Ministers said illegal armed groups' were still operating in eastern Ukraine whilst pro Russia rebels are continuing to hold westerners hostage.

In response, Russia has boosted its sanctions against the EU after including pork, chicken and beef fat on the list of restricted items.

Polish Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna said: "The ministers spoke with one voice on the need to keep the sanctions in place.

"That's the conclusion we came to and I was encouraged to see that these were not just the voices of Central and Eastern European countries."

He noted that Russia would have to do more than make "empty gestures" for the EU to relent.

Schetyna also said EU states fear a Russian gas cut-off in winter and that ministers spoke of "the need to show solidarity, in the form of urgent, concrete measures, if such a situation takes place."

His remarks were echoed by the foreign ministers of Latvia, Lithuania and Denmark.

"I don't think we should decrease pressure just now," Denmark's foreign minister " Denmark’s Martin Lidegaard said.

"We are still seeing unacceptable behavior from Russia.

A spokesman for Russia's  agriculture watchdog told the  AFP news agency: "From October 21, temporary restrictions are being brought in on the import into Russia from European Union countries of a number of food products, specifically offal from cattle and pigs, finely and coarsely ground flour made from meat and meat offal, beef fat, pork fat including lard and chicken fat."