EU foreign ministers discuss Russia sanctions

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EU foreign ministers met in Luxembourg on Monday to discuss the violence in Ukraine that flared over the weekend.

Top diplomats from the 28 EU countries discussed whether the events in eastern Ukraine amounted to an escalation of the crisis, which would trigger economic sanctions.

When asked by reporters if Russia was behind the unrest in the east of the country, Dutch Foreign Minister Frank Timmermans said: “The problem is that it looks very very similar to what happened in the Crimea.

“If it looks like a horse, it walks like a horse. It’s usually a horse and not a Zebra.”

EU diplomats claim that Russia has been fomenting the violence and sending military personnel to the area.

British Foreign Minister William Hague said that “further sanctions have to be the response to Russia’s behaviour.”

“Of course, we will need to agree amongst the whole of the EU how far those go. But certainly I will be making that argument,” he said.

That view was echoed by Belgum’s foreign minister, Didier Reynders.

“It will perhaps be necessary to go towards economic sanctions to make (Russia) see sense. The goal is effectively to achieve a de-escalation and to restore calm in the region. Until now, we’ve seen nothing of the sort,” he said.

The meeting comes three days ahead of planned negotiations in Geneva on the crisis between the US, the EU, Russia and Ukraine.

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