Pusic: Sanctions directed not against Ukraine, but those responsible for violence

(Hina) - Croatia"s Foreign and European Affairs Minister Vesna Pusic said in Brussels on Thursday that EU sanctions would not be directed against Ukraine as a country but against individuals responsible for violence in which more than 50 people had been killed in the last two days. "Ukraine as a country will not be sanctioned, but individuals responsible for the violence and repression will," Pusic told reporters after a meeting of EU foreign ministers who decided to impose sanctions. Pusic added that a list of persons to be sanctioned was yet to be determined and that it would include the blocking of property and money in European countries, accountability before courts, and a ban on the issuing of visas for travel to the EU. The conclusions of the emergency ministerial meeting include an embargo on all means that may be used for internal repression in Ukraine as well as the sending of medical and humanitarian aid to Ukraine. Pusic would not speculate if the list would include Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych whom the West considers the most responsible for the violence of security forces against pro-EU protesters. Pusic does not believe the situation in Ukraine would divert the EU"s attention from the developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina where social unrest has turned into political protests against the authorities at all levels. "Bosnia and Herzegovina is a European issue. The fact that there is a fire on one side does not mean a fire should be allowed somewhere else, quite the contrary. Everything possible should be done to solve problems before they start escalating." Pusic said that Croatia had proposed a new EU approach to Bosnia and Herzegovina, which would be presented to EU ministers and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. Without going into details of the proposal, she said that it could be discussed at the next meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council.

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