EU reacting too slowly to Ukraine crisis, claims Lithuania FM

  • 2014-11-19
  • By Rayyan Sabet-Parry and wire reports, RIGA

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius appears on CNN (photo: twitter)

EU sanctions are not enough to deter Russia's military actions in the Ukraine, Lithuania's Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevicius has said.

Speaking to CNN's Christiane Amanpour, the foreign minister said the EU was reacting too slowly to events in Ukraine.

"We are reacting, in my view, a bit too slowly and missing targets because we have this list of so-called targeted persons - but more than half of them have nothing to do with the decision making process in Russia. We are really not acting enough in my view," Linkevicius said.

"There have been a hundred-plus efforts to engage Russia, to talk, to be nice and relying on the other side to do the same. I am not calling for an aggressive stance or sharp dialog. No. Let us just be consistent, let us make clear our messages and implement what we decided to implement and that would be something, at least, for the beginning," he said in an interview.

The comments come after the EU slammed fresh sanctions on Russian on Monday for its alleged involvemen in the Ukraine. EU officials claim Russian tanks and troops are illegally fighting in the Ukraine, a claim Moscow has flatly denied.

Linkevicius told CNN host Amanpour that his strong stance on Russia is not because he is "Russo-phobic". On the contrary, he would like to develop a strong relationship between Lithuania and its giant neighbor.

"Who would like to have better relations than neighbors? Of course we would like to have [Russia] as a trade partner, an economic partner. But we believe that these relations must be based on values and principles, not just on the interests, and I am sorry but interests are slowly disappearing from our vocabulary, which is a big mistake," the foreign minister told Amanpour.