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Politics

The EU lifts sanctions against Russian and Ukrainian leaders

In the coming days the European Union finalized the preparatory work on economic, trade and financial restrictions against Crimea derived from the illegal annexation of Russia

The European Union has rejected the possibility of lifting sanctions against Russian and Ukrainian leaders to undermine the territorial integrity of Ukraine in exchange for the release of the OSCE military observers held from Friday Slaviansk in eastern Ukraine, such as called for by the self-proclaimed mayor of the town, Vyacheslav Ponomarev.

"We condemn the arrest of military observers there and all illegally detained people need to be released immediately," he argued at a press conference, Maja Kocijancic, spokesperson of High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy of the EU, Catherine Ashton, asked if the EU lift sanctions poses for the release of the hostages European military observers.

The spokesman justified the decision by EU governments on Monday to extend sanctions - assets freeze and travel ban - for fifteen other Russian and Ukrainian leaders "to push a resolution of the crisis," including the leader of the People's Republic of secessionist Dontetsk, Denis Pushilin.

"The main objective here is to find a solution to the current crisis and will continue working in this direction," has Apostille Kocijancic to justify the new sanctions.

"We will return to the dialogue on the status of prisoners of war when the European Union removed sanctions," he said on his part Ponomariov. "If they do not, we will block the entrance to the staff of the European Union, so it can not reach us. Would remind our guests of the OSCE," she added.

Ashton's spokesperson has made clear that Member States are competent to apply the penalties and confirmed that they facilitate them "confidential" information. "We believe that sanctions are being implemented," he insisted, asked about the effectiveness of the same when it comes to force change on the ground. The spokesman could not specify, however, the impact for companies operating in the European Union sanctioned by the U.S. in relation to the crisis in Ukraine and if they can continue doing business in Europe and has been confined to clarify that it is a "different legal basis". "We are extremely concerned about the deteriorating situation, especially in the east," insisted the spokesman for Ashton.

The very head of European diplomacy has demanded the immediate release of the obervadores in a previous statement and demanded Russia to take action in support of the Geneva agreement, while it has warned that Europeans consider further individual sanctions "if is necessary. "

"We continue to call on Russia to respect the Geneva Accords" has affected at a press conference the spokesman for President of the European Commission, Pia Ahrenkilde.

traslation: Belén Zapata