Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron leaves Downing Street in London July 21, 2014.REUTERS/Luke MacGregor
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For all the tough talk, Europe is unlikely to punish Russia over last week's downing of an airliner over Ukraine beyond speeding up the imposition of already agreed individual sanctions when the bloc's foreign ministers meet on Tuesday.The next scheduled summit of EU leaders is on Aug. 30, although EU members could call for another emergency meeting.A summit of EU leaders on July 16, the day before the airliner was shot down, agreed the EU would sanction Russian companies that help to destabilize Ukraine and block new loans to Russia.Speaking in parliament Monday, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the EU would impose further sanctions on Russia if it were proved that Russia had been directly or indirectly responsible for bringing the plane down.EU diplomats made clear sectoral sanctions would still be extremely difficult for many EU nations. They are especially nervous about the energy sector, central to the Russian economy, but also to the European Union.EU nations rely on Russia for about 30 percent of their gas demand and have intertwined interests based on decades of energy reliance.
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