Berlin and Paris rebuff fresh calls for tougher sanctions on Russia – report
High-ranking diplomats from France and Germany favor tackling the renewed Russian-Ukrainian tensions with more “trust-building measures,” German paper Die Welt reported on Wednesday.
The paper, citing its own sources, wrote that additional sanctions weren’t included in the diplomats’ proposal. Instead, they reportedly offered to “continue diplomatic efforts” to solve the crisis and to consider the role of the OSCE in resolving the conflict.
According to Die Welt, this approach was voiced by Berlin and Paris on Tuesday during a “secret meeting” of the EU’s Political and Security Committee in Brussels.Also on rt.com Kerch Strait standoff: Ukrainian Navy consciously ignored orders to stop, FSB says
Earlier, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas asked Russia and Ukraine to seek de-escalation and exhibit “maximum restraint” in order to avert a larger crisis.
On Sunday, the Russian Coast Guard seized three Ukrainian naval vessels as they tried to pass through the Kerch Strait. Three Ukrainian sailors were wounded when a Russian warship opened fire at a Ukrainian gunboat after it failed to stop.
Moscow accused Ukraine of provocations and violating its sovereignty.
The Foreign Ministry hereby issues a strong protest against the gross violation of the rules of peaceful passage in the territorial waters of Russia in the Black Sea by Ukrainian naval ships, that took place on November 25, 2018https://t.co/J4NLFfV5Lwpic.twitter.com/CK7ATAI5JN— MFA Russia 🇷🇺 (@mfa_russia) 26 ноября 2018 г.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, meanwhile, blasted Russia for “unprovoked use of weapons” against the ships, and called on the EU to impose tougher sanctions. His call was supported by Poland and Lithuania.
The unprovoked use of weapons by Russia against Ukrainian ships, the capture of our sailors by the Russian invader cannot and will not be left without a decent response. We have to stand up to the Russian aggression, including a significant strengthening of sanctions.— Петро Порошенко (@poroshenko) 27 ноября 2018 г.
Speaking to The Washington Post, US President Donald Trump said that pending a “full report” on the incident he might call off the talks with Russian leader Vladimir Putin at the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which kicks off on Friday.
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