US, EU urge 'new sanctions' against Russia: France

US, EU urge 'new sanctions' against Russia: France
Mon Jul 28, 2014 22:25:54

The leaders of the United States, Germany, France, Britain and Italy agreed Monday on the need to impose new sanctions on Russia, the French presidency said.

President Barack Obama, Chancellor Angela Merkel, President Francois Hollande, Prime Minister David Cameron and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi "confirmed... their intention to adopt new measures against Russia," the French presidency said after the five leaders held telephone talks.

Eastern Ukraine has for weeks been the scene of fierce battles between pro-Kremlin separatists and the army, and clashes in the vast area where the Malaysia Airlines plane came down on July 17 have so far blocked attempts by Dutch and Australian police to access the crash site.

"Despite numerous calls made to President (Vladimir) Putin, they (the five leaders) regretted that Russia did not effectively pressure the separatists into negotiating or take concrete measures... to ensure control of the Russian-Ukraine border," the presidency said.

However, in reaction to EU and US baseless sanctions against Russia, Moscow announced on Monday that Russia could soon block fruit imports from the EU and chickens from the United States.

An advisor to the chief of Russia's food and agricultural inspection service Rosselkhoznadzor said oriental fruit moths had been detected in some European imports.

"Due to that it is likely that their import into Russia will be restricted," Alexei Alexeyenko was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.
He said a decision was likely within days, and could apply to all or selected EU states.

Russia has frequently blocked food imports citing health concerns, sparking accusations from its partners of using trade as a political weapon.

The EU may as soon as Tuesday ratchet up its sanctions on Russia over claimed role in the Ukraine crisis, applying sanctions covering four key areas: access to capital markets, defense, dual-use goods and sensitive technologies, including the energy sector.

Alexeyenko said earlier Monday that Rosselkhoznadzor may soon ban imports of chicken meat from the United States due to salmonella outbreaks.


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