Europe must not relax in drafting Russia sanctions-UK

ATHENS, April 4 Fri Apr 4, 2014 5:55am EDT

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ATHENS, April 4 (Reuters) - Europe must not relax in preparing tough economic sanctions for possible use against Russia because Moscow has not reduced tensions over Ukraine, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Friday.

Hague, arriving for a meeting of European Union foreign ministers, said very large numbers of Russian forces remained on Ukraine's eastern border. There had been only a "token withdrawal" of those forces so far and the situation remained very dangerous, he said.

"We haven't seen real de-escalation by Russia and therefore Europe must not relax in preparing a third tier of sanctions and making sure we continue to have a strong and united response," he said, referring to tough trade and economic measures that the EU has threatened to take against Russia if it moves beyond Crimea into southern and eastern Ukraine. (Reporting by Justyna Pawlak in Athens and Adrian Croft in Brussels; Editing by Robin Emmott)

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