WATCH: Lithuanian Foreign Minister Sees Sanctions As Only Leverage On Russia
LUXEMBOURG -- Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius has urged the European Union to adopt more sanctions against Russia in response to its air strikes against civilian targets in Syrian rebel-held eastern Aleppo.
Speaking to RFE/RL at the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg on October 17, Linkevicius said sanctions were "a logical way to go because it is the only leverage" the EU is using.
He said the EU needs to maintain sanctions pressure on Russia "because otherwise we cannot expect any change of the situation on the ground" in Syria.
EU foreign ministers are discussing how the EU should respond to attacks that have killed hundreds of civilians in Aleppo since truce brokered by Russia and the United States collapsed on September 19.
The ministers on October 17 declared that the "deliberate targeting" Aleppo's civilian infrastructure -- including "hospitals, schools, and essential infrastructure" -- "may amount to war crimes" by Russia and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
A decision on additional sanctions against Russia would likely be left to a two-day EU summit that starts in Brussels on October 20.
Rikard Jozwiak covers the European Union and NATO for RFE/RL from his base in Brussels. Write to him at email@example.com