Merkel says EU to meet on new sanctions against Russia

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BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday that Russia had not done enough to help ease the crisis in Ukraine and new sanctions against Russia might be imposed, according to a statement posted on the website of German government.

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Merkel made the remarks at a joint press conference with visiting Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

The chancellor said she had hold a phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday morning and made clear that Russia lacked commitment to last week’s Geneva agreement aimed at defusing tensions in Ukraine.

At the Geneva talks held on April 17, Russia, the United States, Ukraine and the EU agreed on the renunciation of violence, the disarming of illegal groups in all regions of Ukraine, the clearing of occupied buildings and an amnesty.

Merkel said on the one hand it’s needed to continue with the diplomatic process, but a new round of “phase two” sanctions, which involve overseas asset freezes and travel bans, must also be considered.

EU foreign ministers would meet as soon as possible to consider those measures against Russia, she added.

Speaking about the energy union proposal made by Poland, Merkel said she supported the idea in principle. “We need a common energy market and a common structure”, she told the press.

Tusk recently has reiterated calls for the establishing of an EU energy union to secure its gas supply and reduce energy dependence on Russia.

After holding talks with Tusk in Paris, French President Francois Hollande said Thursday that his country would back the plans of Poland, according to media reports. PNA

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