Estonian, Lithuanian foreign ministers stress sanctions against Russia need to remain in place
The foreign ministers of Lithuania and Estonia said after their meeting on Thursday that they expected the international investigators’ findings in the case of the shot-down Malaysia Airlines plane to “open the eyes of some colleagues”. Both Estonia’s Jürgen Ligi as well as Lithuania’s Linas Linkevičius expressed strong support of continued sanctions against Russia.
“Sanctions on Russia are not related to this, but it will definitely help open the eyes of some colleagues,” Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius told reporters in Vilnius on Thursday.
Jürgen Ligi (Reform) agreed with the statement of his colleague, adding that he hoped it would contribute to making lifting the sanctions more unpopular.
Both ministers stressed that they didn’t currently see any reason to lift the sanctions in place against Russia.
The European Union and the United States imposed sanctions on Russia’s financial, military, and oil sectors in summer 2014, after Russia had occupied the Crimean peninsula and sent troops to the eastern part of Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 that crashed after getting shot down over Ukrainian territory played an important part in the decision as well.
An international team of investigators announced last week that they had evidence that the Buk missile that hit the jet had been transported to eastern Ukraine from Russia. Russia and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine have repeatedly denied any involvement in the shooting down of the plane. 298 people died in the incident.