The new EU foreign policy representative Federica Mogherini said Russian President Vladimir Putin's policy on Ukraine is hurting ordinary Russians.
In an interview with Italian media outlet Corriere della Sera, Mogherini, who received little support from Poland and the Baltic states accusing her of being weak on Russia, said sanctions are the main weapon to force a diplomatic solution, and the question is if sanctions aimed at the economy will change the thinking of the leadership of Russia.
She said Putin's recent proposal to begin talks over the independence of eastern Ukraine undermines the territorial integrity of Ukraine, and the move shows Putin is not to be trusted as a partner for diplomatic talks.
“Putin has never filled promises which he has taken repeatedly in Geneva, Normandy, Berlin,” Mogherini said, adding that Putin failed to turn things around after the Malaysia Airlines disaster.
Heads of government and state in the EU have said there is clear evidence of Russian military involvement in Ukraine, and have given Russia one week to change its course in the nation, before drawing up new sanctions.