World Economy

EU Can’t Wait to Lift Russia Sanctions

Joe Biden (L) and Petro Poroshenko.Joe Biden (L) and Petro Poroshenko.

US Vice President Joe Biden urged Ukraine to “straighten up and fly right” or the EU might lift Russia sanctions.

The Ukraine has received more than a clear message that its western allies’ patience is running low when it comes to the political and economic reform that the new pro-West government pledged to establish. The allies now have to twist Ukraine’s arm to force them to apply what was signed in the Minsk peace agreement, Newswire reported.

“We know that if they (Ukraine) give an excuse to the EU, there are at least five countries right now that want to say ‘We want out’,” Biden told the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

Biden based his opinion on belief that Europeans think that the Ukraine was “owned by Russia anyway” before Petro Poroshenko became president, which might lead them to decide to lift sanctions. It is no secret that the economy of some of the most influential EU countries is suffering greatly because of the sanctions.

If Ukraine does not make progress on the promised economic and political reforms, Biden fears the EU could backtrack on the sanctions, Politico reported.

Regarding the critics, the US vice president said Ukraine meets the criteria for a third sovereign loan guarantee of up to $1 billion.

Meeting Ukraine President Poroshenko on Tuesday at the United Nations, Biden called on Kiev to reform its justice and energy sectors. Biden warned Porosenko not to let the blame for the failed Minsk negotiations fall on Ukraine.

“Everybody’s willing to blame the victim, and you better straighten up and fly right,” Biden said he told Poroshenko.

Biden said there are “at least five EU countries” that would end the embargo placed on the Russian Federation right away if they see the chance. He referred to Germany, France, Italy, Slovakia and Hungary, who admit they are suffering hard economic consequences due to the embargo. Last week, Cyprus joined the list of countries threatening to lift the sanctions.

In two and a half years, Ukraine has not progressed much despite heavy financial support from its western allies. However, it didn’t need to, given the fact US Congress voted for sending weapons and ammunition to the country, supporting their fight against the pro-Russian Donbass region.

Until now, the help that Ukraine has received from the US military was exclusively equipment and financial aid.