09:51 Jun. 17, 2016
At the St. Petersburg Economic Forum EC head Juncker spoke in favor of sanctions remaining until the terms of the Minsk are met
The U.S. State Department's chief sanctions-policy coordinator is confident the European Union will maintain its travel and economic restrictions against Russia until Moscow fulfills the terms of a peace agreement to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Speaking to RFE/RL in the Czech capital after a weeklong tour of four Central European states to shore up support for the sanctions regime, Daniel Fried on June 16 called costs to the West of sanctions "the price" of combating "Russian aggression."
"Sanctions can be costly, but happily European countries have suffered much less than Russian propaganda makes it out to be," Fried said. "Some have been hit harder than others, the Baltic states in particular, [and] Finland. So we need to stick together. American companies have also been hit. But this is the price we all need to pay if we're to successfully resist Russian aggression."
The sanctions have hit Russia's economy most dramatically by closing long-term E.U. lending to Russian companies and discouraging foreign investment. Some of Putin's inner circle have also been targeted with asset freezes and travel bans.
However, European countries have been hit by countermeasures ordered by the Kremlin, including a Russian import ban on meat, vegetable, and dairy products from the E.U.