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Call for fresh EU sanctions against Russia go unheard

Published: October 7, 2016, 7:11 pm

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    Norbert Roettgen, a member of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the German parliament, has called for fresh sanctions against Russia, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported.

    “A lack of consequences and sanctions for the most serious war crimes would be a scandal,” Roettgen said, but ruled out military measures over Russia’s role in the bombardment of Syria.

    He echoed another CDU member and member of the European Parliament, Elmar Brok, who urged the EU to impose new sanctions on Germany’s neighbour.

    But the idea of a fresh round of sanctions found no traction amongst decision makers. During a meeting of senior officials from the United States, Britain, France, Italy and Germany in Berlin on Wednesday both groups decided against it, participants said.

    The EU has sanctions in place against Moscow over the conflict in Ukraine, but European diplomats say more sanctions could prove extremely difficult for Europe.

    Meanwhile the German army has reportedly banned its most advanced Tornado jets from flying missions against the Islamic State in Syria.

    The Tornado ASST A3 aircraft has been grounded from October 6. The problem is attributed to “loose screws” on the monitor in the cockpit of the Tornado jets, German DPA news agency reported.

    The EU, a member of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG), has sided with the US in imposing initial sanctions on the already devastated country and in calling on Assad’s government to step down.

    But the move drew fierce criticism from France’s Marine Le Pen. The leader of France’s National Front party accused the European Union of being responsible for the ongoing chaos in Syria and added the EU has been too busy trying to overthrow Assad and not fighting terrorists.

    In an interview to RT, UK MEP David Coburn echoed Le Pen’s words. He also warned of destabilizing Syria: “We got rid of Saddam, we got rid of Gaddafi, and neither of those went well.”

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