US ready to impose sanctions against Russia without EU support
The agency notes that during the meeting in the White House, the United States urged the European ambassadors to take sterner measures against Russia. According to American officials, Russian President Vladimir Putin's actions have destabilized the situation in Ukraine.
According to the participants of the meeting, the Obama administration is ready to unilaterally impose new sanctions against Russia if in the course of tomorrow's meeting in Brussels the EU leaders refrain from introducing a new package of restrictive measures against Moscow, which is expected to be targeted not against individuals and companies, but against whole sectors of the Russian economy.
Earlier today, the ITAR-TASS agency citing a West European source in the EU headquarters reported that at least nine countries of the European Union are ready to veto the new package of sanctions against Russia at tomorrow's EU summit in Brussels.
"France, Germany, Luxembourg, Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus, Slovenia, and Italy, which are currently presiding in the EU, see no reason for imposing sectoral trade and economic sanctions against Russia in the present conditions and will oppose the measure at the summit. Anyway, this is the current situation at the Council of Europe's Committee at the level of permanent representatives, which usually very accurately reflects the balance of forces on the eve of the summit of the community," the diplomat said.
According to him, sanction opponents fear that new restrictions will deliver a blow not only on Russia, but also to European economies living through rather hard times. Among other things that will weaken the EU's position in a dispute with the United States.
For the first time, a possible introduction of broad sectoral sanctions against Russia - the "third package" of measures - was announced at a press-conference of the leaders of the US and Germany at the beginning of May. Originally, a likely breakdown of Ukraine's presidential election on May 25 was named as a reason to apply these sanctions, later it was the absence of concrete steps aimed at de-escalating the crisis in Ukraine on the part of Moscow.
However, the decision to introduce sectoral sanctions was not adopted at the EU summit held in Brussels on June 27, 2014. In case of imposing of sanctions against sectors of the Russian economy (the so-called sectoral sanctions) Russia's GDP may lose 0.2-0.3 percent, "The main directions of the budget policy for 2015 and for the planning period of 2016 and 2017" published on July 10 reads.