MOSCOW, September 12 (RIA Novosti) – The European Union is undermining efforts aimed at restoring peace in Ukraine by introducing a new round of sanctions against Russia and representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday.
“We believe that making such decisions at a time when, as we hope, the peace process is stabilizing, means choosing a path aimed at undermining the peace process,” the minister told Russia-1 television channel.
Moscow will defend its interests, Lavrov stressed.
“We will react calmly, adequately, primarily proceeding from the need to protect our interests,” the foreign minister said.
Earlier today, the new set of European sanctions imposed against Russia over its alleged negative role in Ukraine came into force. The EU barred three major Russian oil companies (Rosneft, Transneft, Gazprom Neft) and three major defense companies (Oboronprom, United Aircraft Corporation and Uralvagonzavod) from seeking finance on European capital markets.
Brussels also added 24 individuals, including senior Russian lawmakers and the leadership of the the Donetsk People's Republic, to the list of individuals facing EU travel bans and asset freezes.
Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday that Moscow regrets the European Union's decision to impose new sanctions against Russia, stressing that Brussels is failing to see the reality of the situation in eastern Ukraine and the steps both sides are taking toward peace.
The Kremlin official referred to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s peace plan, which he proposed to the conflicting sides two days before Kiev and the eastern regions of Ukraine reached a ceasefire agreement on September 5 in Minsk.