EU May Need to Increase Sanctions on Russia If Things Get Worse in Eastern Ukraine - Mogherini

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The European Union may need to increase sanctions on Russia, the bloc's incoming foreign-policy chief said Monday, but she questioned whether the measures were actually affecting the Kremlin's political calculations.

"We need to work maybe even on increasing the sanctions...if things get worse," she said. "We could lift the sanctions if things get better," Ms. Mogherini, who is currently the Italian foreign minister, said, Censor.NET reports, citing The Wall Street Journal. She also said that Moscow must fully comply with all the points of last month's cease-fire deal signed in Minsk.

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Answering a later question from a European lawmaker, Ms. Mogherini said she believes Russia 's economy "is starting to suffer quite a lot" because of EU sanctions, which tightened over the summer to hit Russia 's banking, energy and defense sectors.

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But she questioned whether the sanctions have been effective in changing Russian President Vladimir Putin's policies. "Are they effective on Russian political decisions? I think we still have a question mark there," she said, arguing that this made a political solution to the conflict the best route ahead.

"My point of reference there is working with the Ukrainians because in the end they are the ones" having to deal with Russia, she said.

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