Russia: EU Delays Sanctions by One Week, Obama Threatens Lethal Aid

The European Union will delay the continuance of sanctions against Russia by one week. The decision was made by the foreign ministers of the European Union in order to encourage successful peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, set to begin tomorrow in Minsk. The EU’s decision to forestall sanctions coincides with declarations made by German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the European Union would not support the provision of lethal aid to Ukraine.

US President Barack Obama has pronounced himself in favor of lethal aid being provided to Ukraine if “diplomacy fails.” The two leaders found themselves largely at odds concerning this issue during a visit by the German leader to the White House this week. This disagreement notwithstanding, both Merkel and Obama appeared surprisingly optimistic that positive “momentum” leading up the conference could lead to a lasting peace agreement. Merkel will soon fly to Minsk to attend peace talks between Ukrainian and Russian leaders.

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News Briefs:

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  • Representatives from Russia, France, Ukraine and Germany will meet anew in Belarus this coming Wednesday to renew talks of a cease-fire in eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was surprisingly optimistic about the next round of negotiations, stating that he was certain a “swift and unconditional cease fire” could be obtained in the near future. Every other attempt at cease fire has broken down between pro-Russia forces and the Ukrainian military.
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