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 New Sanctions Against Russia - EU Plans to Respond in "Strongest Possible Way"

Governments of the EU states will decide on a package of new sanctions against Russia by Friday, Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini told the European Parliament on Tuesday, calling for "the strongest possible response."

Mogherini, who will be the bloc's next foreign policychief, said the European Commission, the EU executive, will presenta strengthened package of sanctions against Russia over itsmilitary invasion of Ukraine by Wednesday, Censor.NET reports citing Reuters.

EU ambassadors will meeton Thursday and Friday and the decision will be taken by Friday,Mogherini said.

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"We need to respond inthe strongest possible way," Mogherini told reporters following apresentation to EU lawmakers in the European Parliament.

"Things on the groundare getting more and more dramatic. We speak about an aggressionand I think sanctions are part of a political strategy," she said.She also described the situation as "a time of completedarkness."

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Mogherini declined toprovide details on the sanctions package, but said they wouldtarget Russia in four sectors, which include defense, dual usegoods, and finance.

Three people close tothe discussions told Reuters on Monday that the strengthenedsanctions could include banning Europeans from buying new Russiangovernment bonds, limiting Moscow's ability to financeitself.

At Saturday's summit, EUleaders chose Mogherini to be the bloc's next foreign policy chief,succeeding Briton Catherine Ashton when she steps down inOctober.

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Mogherini, whom someeastern European states have criticised for being too soft onRussia, sought to strike a firm tone on Tuesday, saying thesituation in Ukraine had changed because of Russia's behaviour andthe EU-Russia relationship was no longer a partnership.

"A strategic partnershipis over. Clearly it's over and that was Moscow's choice... We havea problem on the Ukrainian territory. We have a conflict, clearly,"she said.

Mogherini also said shespoke by telephone on Monday to Russian Foreign Minister SergeiLavrov, who congratulated her on her appointment as EU foreignpolicy chief, but said she did not discuss policy indetail.

Источник: https://en.censor.net.ua/n300773