Crime in Crimea: Ukrainian ships hoist Russian flag, West high economic sanctions


The European Union has extended targeted sanctions against Russian officials accused of destabilizing Ukraine, but has not yet agreed on the extent of economic measures.

This would be the last move available to the "allies" in response to the escalation of the Crimean clash, now the largest geopolitical crisis between Russia and the West after the end of the Cold War. The European Union has expanded the number of Russian and Ukrainian sanctioned officials, followed by the United States, which has added other 20 officials to its "black" list.

By today, French President Francois Hollande will also update his list, very similar to that of the United States.

At the moment the agreement from 1,6 billion euros for the supply of two Mistral class warships for the Russian Navy has been frozen. Moscow, however, promptly responded to the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who feared this possibility with a simple sentence: "Keep the ships, but give us back the check from 1,6 billion". Paris has not replied.

Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council, canceled the preparations for a summit with Russia scheduled for next June.

Finally, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso confirmed that the EU is preparing large-scale economic sanctions against Russia. The sanctions against Russia have been divided on three levels. The first was reached three weeks ago with the suspension of visa liberalization negotiations to facilitate travel between the United States and Russia. Second level sanctions were raised last Monday against Russian officials, with the freezing of assets and the visa ban.

Economic sanctions are the last stage (and the last weapon available to the West), as confirmed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Russian President Vladimir Putin warned earlier this month that sanctions against Russia would damage the global economy.

We recall that the United States, Great Britain, France and Canada suspended military collaboration with Russia at the beginning of the month.

Meanwhile, Moscow continues its annexation process.

All the forces present in the Crimea will be regularized and will join the Russian army. According to Vladimir Komoyedov, president of the Defense Committee in the Chamber, the forces present in the Crimea will become part of the Southern Military District. Passage - added Komoyedov to the Ria Novosti - which will be accelerated due to the mobilization of Ukrainian reserve troops, a process that will be completed within the next 30 days.

Meanwhile, according to Moscow, all Ukrainian military ships present in the Crimea have hoisted the Russian flag. The Black Sea Fleet, already eleven strong, would have annexed two corvettes, a command ship, several missile motor cruisers, minesweepers and the only Ukrainian submarine, the Zaporizhia (pictured), a diesel-electric class boat "Foxtrot".

About 22 thousand Ukrainian soldiers, with their respective families, are stationed in the Black Sea peninsula. Their fate is still uncertain.

Franco Iacch