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EU Considering Syria Sanctions, But Not Against Russia

By Chris Hannas October 17, 2016

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini says the EU is not considering sanctioning Russia over its actions in Syria.

"This has not been proposed by any member state," she told reporters Monday in Luxembourg.

Mogherini said there are discussions about sanctions against members of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government, and stressed the need for those who have an influence on the various players in the conflict to find a way to talk and seek solutions.

Her comments came a day after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned of possible sanctions related to the situation in Syria and harshly criticized Russia's military actions there.

Syria was a focus during his talks Sunday with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Saturday meetings with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other diplomats.

Kerry said Sunday the officials are disturbed and outraged by the devastation that has hit the northern city of Aleppo.

"This is the largest humanitarian disaster since World War II. And it could stop tomorrow morning, tonight, if Russia and the Assad regime would behave according to any norm or any standard of decency. But they've chosen not to," he said.

Kerry said he and other ministers have to exhaust every possibility to find a way to halt the fighting. Multiple previous cease-fires have broken down throughout the more than five years of war in Syria, including one last month focused on Aleppo.

"We're going to continue to work at this because no one has a right to just walk away and allow Aleppo to continue to be bombed without making every effort possible in order to stop it," he said.

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