YEREVAN, July 24. /ARKA/. John McCain, a U.S. Republican senator has vented anger at European Union’s tepid sanctions against Moscow calling them ‘a joke’.
"It's a joke and they will do nothing and I predicted they would do nothing," he was quoted by Lenta.ru as saying in an interview with The Telegraph. "They will continue to do nothing until the day they become independent of Russian energy. Until then they will talk."
Mr McCain said that in the face of European inaction it would be helpful for Britain to move ahead unilaterally with banking sanctions but he doubted the British government had the resolve.
"It would help but even they're not going to do that because they want all that money into London," he said in his interview.
European foreign ministers announced Tuesday they would sanction more Ukrainian and Russian individuals and companies but stopped short of broad sanctions designed to hammer the Russian economy.
On Wednesday, EU Commissioner for Energy Gunther Oettinger, urged not to place sanctions on imported Russian oil and gas.
"I've always said that energy deliveries, such as oil, gas, coal and uranium, from Russia into European markets…shouldn't be put on a sanctions list," he said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for tougher sanctions on Russia, BBC reports. She supports the European Union's efforts to accelerate the introduction of new restrictive measures on Russian individuals and companies in connection with Russia's policy against Ukraine.
Speaking in parliament before a meeting of EU foreign ministers on Tuesday, Cameron urged for tougher sanctions against Russia.
"It is time to make our power, influence and resources felt," Cameron said, arguing the time had come to move on to so-called "tier three" sanctions, a set of tougher measures that would target specific sectors of the Russian economy.
"Russia cannot expect to continue enjoying access to European markets, European capital, European knowledge and technical expertise while she fuels conflict in one of Europe's neighbours," said Cameron. --0----