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EU threatens new sanctions on Russia

Monday, Apr 14, 2014 - 01:59

Apr 14 - EU foreign ministers discuss how to respond to the crisis in eastern Ukraine, blaming Russia for the escalating tension. Ivor Bennett looks at the options they have and the impact of any further sanctions.

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As the deadline came and went, the unrest only increased. Pro-Russian separatists seizing yet another government building as the threatened military assault from Kiev failed to materialise. This time it was a police station in Horlivka - the number of cities with occupied government buildings now rising to 10. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) HORLIVKA PROTESTER, YURI, SAYING: "If they don't give us us a chance to hold a referendum we'll force them to give us a referendum because referendum is the utmost form of democracy. That's it." The fear now is a full blown civil war. The first signs of which are beginning to appear. This man was kicked to the floor for suggesting the occupiers were from Moscow. Russia insists the protests are home-grown, but it's a claim few are buying. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY WILLIAM HAGUE SAYING: "There is very little doubt, there can't really be any real doubt, that this is something that has been planned and brought about by Russia. The forces involved are well-armed, well-trained, well-equipped, well-coordinated, behaving in exactly the same way as what turned out to be Russian forces behaving in Crimea." EU foreign ministers were meeting in Luxembourg to discuss the option of increasing sanctions. something the US has already backed. So far they've only targeted individuals. The next step would be trade. Lilit Gevorgyan from IHS Insight. SOUNDBITE (English) LILIT GEVORGYAN, SENIOR ECONOMIST, IHS GLOBAL INSIGHT, SAYING: "I think if we start going into the economic sanctions then this will be very serious. And I have to say that perhaps in the short term they can take more hits. But in the medium to long term Russia is going to suffer from this confrontation." But so could Europe. The bloc's reliance on Russian gas means an escalation would have consequences too. The EU is due to hold talks with the US, Russia and Ukraine in Geneva on Thursday. A meeting seen as the final shot at a diplomatic solution.

EU threatens new sanctions on Russia

Monday, Apr 14, 2014 - 01:59

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