The European Council, which discussed on Thursday the Ukrainian crisis, decided to expand the list of individuals subject to visa ban and asset freeze and put forward another 12 names to the list of 21 agreed to earlier this week.
It also decided to cancel the next EU-Russia Summit, while member states will cancel regular bilateral summits.
Cyprus is represented at the European Council meeting that wraps up on Friday, by President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades.
In his remarks after the EU heads of state and government working dinner on Thursday, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy stressed that failure to settle the crisis peacefully, and any steps by Russia to destabilize Ukraine, will have far-reaching consequences on relations in a broad range of economic areas.
“We ask the Commission and the member states to prepare possible targeted measures,” noting that sanctions are not a question of retaliation or a goal in themselves but a foreign policy tool and a means to an end.
He expressed Europe’s readiness to facilitate and engage in a meaningful dialogue involving Ukraine and Russia and support all multilateral initiatives towards that aim.
Rompuy also said that on Friday morning political provisions of the Association Agreement with Ukraine will be signed, noting that this is a “concrete sign of the European Union’s solidarity with Ukraine.”
In their conclusions, the EU28 urged the Council to rapidly agree on macro-financial assistance and underline that an agreement with the IMF is critical to enable this assistance.
As regards discussion on the economy, Rompuy said that “for the first time since we started this ‘European semester’ exercise a few years ago, the economic outlook is more positive.
“Europe is on the way to recovery,” he said, adding that “we should be taking advantage of this relative respite, precisely to tackle the difficult economic reforms we have committed to.”
Rompuy welcomed the agreement announced on Thursday on the Single Resolution Mechanism.
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