European Union foreign ministers said on Monday that they will delay the implementation of sanctions against a new group of individuals and companies in Russia and eastern Ukraine.
The bloc says it wants to give a further push for negotiations between all sides.
“In order to give space to our diplomatic efforts in these hours to be developed with the maximum of chances of success, we decided unanimously, united, to put the entry into force of the measures on hold until Monday 16th (of February),” said EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.
But one of the main EU hawks, Lithuania, remains sceptical that any planned talks will succeed.
Linas Linkevičius, the Lithuanian foreign minister told reporters that “no one wants war.”
“But we can judge only on the developments on the ground,” he said. “We cannot trust a single word of Russian leadership, apparently. it’s worthless, unless proved on the ground.’
But should a joint French-German plan to broker a resolution to the conflict end in failure, foreign ministers said they are ready to ramp up sanctions against Russia.