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West tells Russia to halt the bloodshed or face further sanctions

Thu, 26.06.2014 22:03



Kiev/Ukraine in Arabic/The government in Kiev is struggling to salvage a peace plan for eastern Ukraine after pro-Russian separatists shot down a helicopter, with Western leaders urging Moscow to intervene now to stop the bloodshed or face the toughest sanctions yet.

European Union leaders are gathering in Belgium and will over a two-day summit be assessing whether Russia has done enough to stop the flow of insurgents and weapons into eastern Ukraine, where separatists pledging allegiance to Moscow have taken over government buildings.

In a move probably aimed at stalling further sanctions, the Russian parliament has granted President Vladimir Putin’s request and revoked an order authorising military action in Ukraine should ethnic Russians come under threat.

While the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Pavlo Klimkin, called the move a “positive step” and US officials said they may delay a decision on sanctions, there was also scepticism that it would be followed by any concrete measures to end the insurgency.

The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, said that rescinding the order was an “important psychological point”, but urged the Kremlin to speed up its intervention. “Diplomatic solutions are always preferable but if nothing else works, sanctions could return to the daily agenda, and this time at the third level,” she told parliament, referring to sanctions targeting key economic sectors.

independent

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