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France warns Russia of rapid EU sanctions

Danish Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard, left, speaks with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius during an emergency meeting of EU foreign ministers at the EU Council building in Brussels on Monday, March 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

PARIS: European Union leaders holding a crisis meeting on Ukraine on Thursday could impose sanctions on Russia if there has been no "de-escalation" by then, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said.

Fabius told France's BFM TV that such measures could include restrictions on visas, the assets of individuals and existing discussions on economic ties with Russia.

"Let's start to initiate the path of dialogue, but at the same time tomorrow there is an EU summit and sanctions could be voted tomorrow if there is no de-escalation. I expect and hope that Russia will today tell us that there is a prospect for dialogue with a contact group," he said, referring to proposals to form a "contact group" of key players in the Ukraine crisis.

Fabius was speaking before hosting talks between his Russian, U.S., Ukrainian and other counterparts on the margins of a long-scheduled meeting on Lebanon in the French capital.

 

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