Merkel Says New Sanctions Against Russia on EU Summit's Agenda
BERLIN, July 16 (RIA Novosti) — New sanctions against Russia will be discussed during the forthcoming EU summit in Brussels on Wednesday evening, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.
'Today we are going to discuss new sanctions, because we think that Russia's contribution to ensuring peace in Ukraine is insufficient,' the chancellor told reporters ahead of the summit, scheduled for 10:00 p.m. Moscow time (18:00 GMT).
Merkel mentioned that the summit agenda focuses on the situation in Ukraine, where little has changed since the the country's president Petro Poroshenko visited Brussels: captives haven't been released, border security is not ensured, and the contact group on crisis-resolution does not function.
Late on Tuesday, US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced they are ready to coordinate possible new sanctions against Russia, the White House said in a statement. Obama's call for more rigid measures against Russia echoes recent reports suggesting that Washington is pressuring EU into imposing new sanctions against Russia.
The United States and European Union accuse Moscow of meddling with Ukraine's internal affairs, imposing targeted sanctions against a number of Russian officials and companies. The Western sanctions have been gradually extending since the initial introuduction after Russia's reunification with Crimea. The EU said it has a three-stage sanctions process. The third stage, not yet reached, would constitute broad economic sanctions against entire sectors of the Russian economy.
The United States has considerably smaller trading volumes with Russia than Europe, which allows the Obama administration to lobby sanctions against the key sectors of Russian economy, while some EU member states that have close trading ties with Russia oppose the measures. Moscow has repeatedly condemned the sanction 'language,' warning of the boomerang effect such limitations can have.
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