The European Union imposed broad economic sanctions against Russia on Tuesday, hoping to force Moscow to reverse course in Ukraine.
Mette Gjerskov, the chairwoman of Denmark’s Foreign Affairs Committee (Udenrigspolitisk Nævn) said Russia was certain to feel the consequences of the EU action.
“It is a very hard attack on Russia that the EU is now implementing these sanctions. Russia has not changed its course, so there was no way around it,” Gjerskov told Berlingske Nyhedsbureau.
The new EU measures impose restrictions on the finance, defence and energy sectors so as to increase the cost to Russia of its continued intervention and support of pro-Moscow rebels in Ukraine.
“These are targeted sanctions that will very seriously affect the Russians. It is simply necessary. Putin needs to understand that it will cost him and Russia dearly if he does not start behaving respectably in relation to the investigation of the passenger flight and the forward march in eastern Ukraine,” Gjerskov said.
Up to now, the European Union has imposed asset freezes and visa bans targeted at people and entities — firms, utilities or local authorities — it believes to have stoked the Ukraine crisis or profited from it.
Many EU countries, among them Germany and Italy, have major economic ties with Russia, which also supplies the bloc with a third of its gas needs, making it difficult for Brussels to follow Washington's lead and adopt more punishing sanctions on Moscow.
However, the alleged shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 by pro-Moscow rebels using a Russian-made missile changed sentiment radically and pushed the idea of broader and tougher economic sanctions to the top of the EU agenda.