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Business frustrates sanctions calls

Thursday, April 17, 2014 - 01:57

Apr 17 - The United States, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union have called for an immediate halt to violence in Ukraine after talks in Geneva. But as Sonia Legg reports the prospect of further sanctions is being clouded by divisions within Europe and big companies.

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Geneva may seem a world away from eastern Ukraine - but these protestors made sure the leaders meeting here appreciated it's not. Ukraine shares a border with four EU countries and what happens there has an impact far beyond them, says Ben Kumar from 7IM. (SOUNDBITE) (English): BEN KUMAR, ANALYST 7IM, SAYING: "You have this globalisation now which means that everyone is linked to everyone else. Companies like BP - all the major energy companies are so multi-national that if you start to threaten to shut down trade links they will kick up a fuss." As the crisis deepens, numerous big companies are doing just that. They're warning governments new economic sanctions against Russia will have significant implications. But Pierre Briancon from Reuters BreakingViews says Putin will not stop until he sees a red line. (SOUNDBITE) (English): PIERRE BRIANCON, EUROPEAN EDITOR, REUTERS BREAKINGVIEWS, SAYING: "Of course you don't wage economic war without inflicting suffering on yourself - we know that European companies are going to suffer if they go to full blown sanctions but if you wait then you end up with a big mess at the heart of Europe. Ultimately you are going to have to react to stop him so the time to stop him is now not later." Putin has again denied having any Russian military troops, special forces or instructors in Ukraine. But several European leaders are sceptical - even if they're not speaking with one voice. (SOUNDBITE) (English): PIERRE BRIANCON, EUROPEAN EDITOR, REUTERS BREAKINGVIEWS, SAYING: "The governments have said that they hold Russia responsible for it - French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius tweeted that 'this is the old Russia we know - they have done it in Crimea, they are doing it again in Ukraine' yet the official line from the EU on sanctions is 'well they haven't invaded yet." A call for an end to violence in Ukraine came as Russia, Ukraine the US and the EU wrapped up the talks But it's likely to take much more than that to resolve the crisis.

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Business frustrates sanctions calls

Thursday, April 17, 2014 - 01:57