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EU to increase Russian sanctions over Ukraine

AFP Photo / Oleksandra Ratushniak

EU leaders are looking to increase sanctions against Russia on Saturday during a summit in Brussels. Hollande said on Saturday that the Ukraine crisis is the biggest crisis in Europe since the end of the Cold War.


The meeting of the European Commission on Saturday in Brussels will lead to further sanctions against Russia over the escalating crisis in Ukraine.

This is according to French President Francois Hollande who spoke to reporters in Paris.

Hollande said that the proximity of the crisis to Europe, taking place on the Eastern European border with Russia concerns Europe directly.

There has been an escalation of tensions in the last few weeks, with 2,500 people dying in the conflict between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian rebels in the east of the country.

This week some Western leaders have said that there are Russian troops on Ukrainian soil, but Hollande did not confirm this on Saturday, he only said it was probable.

However the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius made the following statement at a French Ambassadors conference on Friday:

“We have extremely alarming indications that show there are Russian troops in Eastern Ukraine. When a country sends military forces in another country without the consent or agreement of the latter, it is called intervention and obviously this is unacceptable. France says that if Russia does not change its position immediately it is likely that sanctions will be increased with new measures.”

Hollande said that France has positioned itself to organize talks between Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France, but as pre-condition the sovereignty of Ukraine must be respected.

Hollande conveyed this message to Russian President Vladmir Putin during a phone conversation on Friday.

The EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said on Saturday that there will be no military solution to the crisis. She said a sustainable political solution was the only way forward.

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