EU Considering Sanctions Amid Ukraine Unrest


Mstyslav Chernov/wikimedia

The European Union is considering sanctions on those responsible for the "repression" in Ukraine amid the ongoing violence in Kiev between anti-government protesters and security forces.

Protests began in November last year after the Ukrainian government rejected a trade deal with the E.U. Since rejecting the deal the Ukrainian government has received a $15 billion bailout from Russia.

The BBC is reporting that 26 people have been killed and hundreds have been treated for injuries as a result of the recent violence, the worst since Ukraine since gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

The New York Times outlined what sort of sanctions could be imposed on those deemed responsible for the recent violence:

The imposition of so-called "smart sanctions" is a standard foreign policy reflex of the European Union when confronted by acts of violence. Over the years, officials have honed a system for identifying individuals deemed responsible for repression, usually imposing a travel ban preventing visits to the 28-nation European Union and often freezing bank accounts.

Experts debate their effectiveness when applied to countries such as Zimbabwe, but their likely use in this case underlines the extent to which the bloc's efforts to use its influence in its own neighborhood have faltered.

Nevertheless, they appear highly likely to be introduced, José Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission, the executive arm of the 28-nation bloc, having also said he expects targeted measures against those responsible for violence.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Poland and Latvia have called for the E.U. to take emergency action, and France and Germany are expected to release a statement later today.

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  1. It would suck if Putin decided to cut off the gas to the EU in the middle of the winter. Especially when they don’t have the Syrian pipeline from Qatar built yet.

  2. I do not see how government imposed sanctions can be compatible with the NAP.

  3. Sanctions: the perfect tool for when you can’t do anything, but you want to look like you’re doing something.

  4. This seems as good a place as any to post this usual nonsense from Commentary Magazine:

    “In the last year, the loudest Republican voice on foreign and defense policy has been that of Senator Rand Paul. Paul’s critique of the Obama administration’s drone attacks and the National Security Agency’s metadata mining, and his resistance to U.S. involvement in overseas conflicts struck a nerve with many on the right outside of the libertarian base he inherited from his father Ron. Skepticism about the need for an aggressive approach to intelligence gathering fueled by the president’s disdain for constitutional checks and balances, along with war weariness in the wake of Iraq and Afghanistan, has bolstered Paul’s arguments. As a result, it’s no longer possible to assume that most conservatives support the kind of forward posture in the world that has been the default GOP stand on foreign policy since Ronald Reagan.

    But there are still plenty of Republicans who look to Reagan rather than to Paul’s isolationism as the model for U.S. foreign policy.”

  5. Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! Scary sanctions! Ooooooooooooooooooooo!

    1. I miss black Bush.

      Bush: U.N., you got problem with that? You know what you should do? You should sanction me. Sanction me with your army. Oh! wait a minute! You don’t have an army! So I guess that means you need to shut the fuck up! That’s what would I do if I don’t have an army, I would shut the fuck up.

  6. Oh, dear, I fear that Russia may not place as highly in the Good Neighbor Awards as Putin had once hoped.

    Seriously, I wonder if the solution for these countries isn’t to unify in some sort of confederation that isn’t the EU (though likely aligned with it)?

    1. A Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, perhaps?

      1. “These countries” meaning “not Russia.”

        I took a quick look at the membership list of the EU, and maybe there’s not much left for Ukraine to align with. Other than, of course, the EU.

        If we simply must intervene, let me suggest my go-to recommendation: Statehood. Ukrainessee.

  7. Both sides suck in this fight. statists who love russia vs the statists who love the EU. when will people stand up for freedom and individuality?

  8. The Ukraine has been largely European for centuries, but has been free, or relatively free, for perhaps twenty years. Since Catherine the Great, ethnically German, ceded land to German peasants in the Ukraine, it has been largely European. My grandparents immigrated to Argentina from the Ukraine, they spoke German, and not a word of Russian.

  9. The reason I think the situation in Venezuela should be a higher priority for us here in the United States is that Venezuela was a relatively free and prosperous country up until 16 years ago when Hugo Chavez and his ilk took control of the government. By the time the people wised up, he and his followers had a chokehold on the Venezuelan populace.

    Jimmy Carter’s oversight notwithstanding, the following years brought elections that were neither fair nor transparent. If this were a right wing government, I truly doubt Carter’s organization would have approved of them. Still, Venezuelans have fought for years to be heard and to change their rapidly deteriorating situation through democratic means, while watching their country go downhill in every possible way.

    The situation now is that this is a country with food shortages, medicine shortages, infrastructure in shambles, and a murder rate that would shock Detroit, South Central, or DC. Very few airlines will fly to Venezuela anymore. Venezuelan oil is given to Cuba, and now Cuban soldiers are there to strong arm and repress the students’ protests, which have been peaceful so far.

  10. When I see posts from my friends on Facebook about the Koch brothers or the horrors of GMOs or how stupid the Tea Party, but no comment on how formerly free and democratic people not that far away are being beaten and raped and killed I’m appalled and saddened.

    But I’m glad it’s only Facebook, because otherwise I might have to slap a bitch or two.

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