The Associated Press reports…
The European Union is studying ways to help bolster the economy in strife-torn eastern Ukraine, the EU’s top diplomat said Monday, amid tensions with Russia over a naval confrontation in the Black Sea last month.
Ukraine has been seeking help from its international partners at the EU and NATO since Russian border guards fired on three Ukrainian navy vessels in the Black Sea on Nov. 25. The crews were captured and the ships seized.
But the 28-nation bloc is unlikely to impose any fresh sanctions on Russia over its actions in the annexed Crimea region and the Sea of Azov, which is an important part of Ukraine’s economy.
The European Union is likely not in shape to further shoot itself by imposing further sanctions upon Russia. As much as sanctions go, to Russia this will be a temporary nuisance that will be alleviated in short to medium term, depending on how well the Russian state reacts to circumstances. I would say medium term because I have no confidence in the Russian leadership. Removing standing sanctions would mean an admission of failure by Brussels but sanctions so far have not done much to return lost territories back to Ukraine, so they are objectively a failure without the EU admitting to it.
Another failure that reflects badly upon the EU is Ukraine herself. Ukraine’s economic failure is something the EU must deal with, or it will be a constant source of ridicule from opponents and adversaries. Can the EU come up with a plan for Eastern Ukraine?