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Sunday 21 September 2014

EU ponders broadening sanctions

Published 11/04/2014 | 10:37

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Pro-Russian activists at a barricade during a rally at the regional administration building in Donetsk (AP)

European Union foreign ministers are considering broadening the list of people sanctioned because of Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula, a senior official says.

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The official said some EU governments want to beef up the sanctions to deter Moscow from further destabilising the situation in eastern Ukraine.

The source said ministers at a meeting in Luxembourg on Monday are not expected to decide new sanctions but could agree on ordering the preparation of a new list of targets.

Any new sanctions - typically including travel bans and asset freezes - require unanimity among the 28 nations of the EU.

The official said the bloc must respond to the unrest in eastern Ukraine mostly sparked by pro-Russian groups, saying: "We can't do nothing."

Meanwhile, the Nato secretary general urged Russia to pull back its troops from Ukraine's borders and enter a dialogue respecting Ukraine's sovereignty.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Moscow's attempts to draw new dividing lines in Europe by force, to limit the sovereignty of Ukraine, and to recreate a new sphere of influence over other countries run contrary to international norms.

After meeting Bulgarian president Rosen Plevneliev, Mr Rasmussen said Nato was taking steps to deal with the instability created by Russia's "illegitimate" actions. Bulgaria, Ukraine and Russia border the Black Sea.

Mr Rasmussen called for a political solution for the crisis, saying the alliance was not discussing military action over Ukraine.

Press Association

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