In early hours of Friday, the European Council discarded the open threat to Russia to take sanctions over Aleppo bombing but warned that “all possible options” would be considered, if Moscow fails to stop the atrocities.
“The fact is that all countries in any case agreed to condemn what takes place in Syria today, particularly the Russian actions in Syria, they all agreed to leave all the possible options and possibilities to apply any measures in the future, if necessary, without specifying them,” Grybauskaitė told Brussels journalists on Friday morning.
“The discussions were not easy, as objectively all countries have a different relation with Russia. The further from the border, the better the relations are, the fewer there are historic sensitivities, which makes the relations simpler. Everything is clear and comprehensive. Most importantly, we agreed on a response,” she added.
In the Lithuanian president’s words, the EU today must think less about the measures and pressure on Moscow by way of sanctions but instead about easing tensions in connection to the buildup of Russian forces in Syria in an effort to avoid full destruction of the country.
“We saw how it all ended and what the consequences were in Libya and other countries where virtually nothing is left after military action and we have huge refugee flows coming to Europe,” Grybauskaitė said.
On Friday, the European Council “strongly condemned the attacks by the Syrian regime and its allies, notably Russia, on civilians in Aleppo,” calling to cease fighting without delay.
Since last Saturday, the Western world has also been closely watching the group of Russian warships that entered the Mediterranean Sea to join the forces engaged in bombing Syria.
In Grybauskaitė’s words, tensions between Russia and the West currently dates back to the Cold War.