The new EU sanctions against Russia, which come into force today, are the consequences of the behaviour of the Russian authorities in the Ukrainian question, Belgian foreign minister Didier Reynders said in a statement Friday.
"These measures will have an impact on the development of the Russian economy and is a serious signal for the leadership in Moscow," he said.
However, the EU is ready to remove the sanctions when Russia starts to contribute actively and unambiguously to a solution of the Ukrainian crisis, noted the minister. Reynders said he believes that Russia can bring back peace by putting pressure on the rebels in the east of Ukraine and by discontinuing the supply of arms to the rebels so that Ukraine can focus on the development of the country on its entire territory, on the basis of the Poroshenko Peace Plan.
He also stressed that free access to the crash site of flight MH17 must be granted so that the international commission of inquiry can carry out its work.