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 Merkel Ally: EU Poised to Ratchet Up Russia Sanctions

The European Union will intensify sanctions on Russia today after President Vladimir Putin failed to respond to EU demands and Ukraine ended a cease-fire with separatists, an ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

Censor.NET reports about this, citing Bloomberg News.

Norbert Roettgen, chairman of Germany's parliamentary foreign affairs committee, told Deutschlandfunk radio that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was right to end the cease-fire. Putin and pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine have "squandered" their opportunity for peace, he said.

"The European Union must and will stand by its word, otherwise it will lose credibility and no longer be able to do anything toward de-escalation and stability," said Roettgen, a lawmaker with Merkel's Christian Democrats. "The decision will come today."

National representatives of the EU's 28 member states are meeting in Brussels until early afternoon today. While Merkel has warned of full economic sanctions against Russian without compliance, so-called stage three measures can only be decided by EU leaders, who are not due to meet again until July 16. That leaves the prospect of expanding the list of names and entities already subject to sanctions.n Russia has failed to control its border with eastern Ukraine and stem the flow of weapons and mercenaries to the region as demanded by the EU.

 
 
 
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