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Moscow Promises Response to EU Sanctions Announced After Minsk Meeting on Ukraine

Russia will 'certainly' react to new European Union's sanctions, if they are implemented, Russia's Foreign Ministry said Saturday.

Updated on 02:14 p.m. Moscow Time

MOSCOW, September 6 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will 'certainly' react to new European Union's sanctions, if they are implemented, Russia's Foreign Ministry said Saturday.

"Concerning the new list of sanctions on behalf of the EU, if they are implemented, the reaction will certainly follow on our side," the ministry said in a statement.

The EU is expected to impose a new round of sectoral sanctions against Russia on Monday, a number of European politicians told RIA Novosti late Friday. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso also said a week ago that the EU was ready to expand the list of limitations imposed on Russia over the Ukrainian crisis.

The EU’s announcement of additional sanctions signals its direct support of Kiev’s 'War Party," which is dissatisfied with the result of Friday’s Minsk meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine, the Russian ministry said.

"Basically, the announcement of the upcoming expansion of the anti-Russian sanctions became the EU’s first reaction to the meeting of the Contact Group on the resolution of the situation Ukraine that took place in Minsk the previous day and all the agreement that had been reached there, which allow to set the lives of all Ukrainians on a peaceful path," the ministry said in a statement.

"The European Union has demonstrated that its authorities are still lost in a political fantasy, and is practically sending the signal of direct support of the 'War Party' in Kiev, which is not satisfied with the outcomes of the Minsk meeting," the ministry said.

The representatives from Ukraine, Russia and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) met Friday to discuss ways of resolving the Ukrainian crisis and agreed to a ceasefire, the international monitoring of its implementation, the exchange of all prisoners and the opening of humanitarian corridors. The first round of peace talks in Minsk took place on August 26.

On Thursday, a White House spokesperson said that the United States was preparing a new set of sanctions against Russia, but on Friday, US President Barack Obama told reporters on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Wales that the restrictions may be lifted if a long-term sustainable ceasefire is reached in Ukraine.

Similar statements were made by UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, France’s President Francois Hollande.

Kiev authorities and militia forces agreed on a truce that started at 6:00 p.m. Kiev time (15:00 GMT) on Friday, although shelling continued later in the night.

The United States and the European Union introduced the first a package of targeted sanctions against Russia in March, in response to Crimea’s reunification with Russia. As the Ukrainian crisis escalated, several rounds of sanctions from the United States and its allies followed, including those targeting Russia’s defense, energy and banking sectors.

Moscow has repeatedly called the language of sanctions "counterproductive," saying the measures "threaten international peace and stability" and run counter to the principles of international law.

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