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EU suspends visa, investment talks with Russia over Ukraine

Source: Reuters - Thu, 6 Mar 2014 17:30 GMT
Author: Reuters
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BRUSSELS, March 6 (Reuters) - European Union leaders agreed on Thursday to suspend talks with Russia on visa and investment liberalisation to enforce a call for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine's Crimea region and opening negotiations between Moscow and Kiev.

EU leaders said that unless such negotiations started in the next few days and produced results "within a limited timeframe", they will impose additional sanctions including travel bans, asset freezes and the cancellation of an EU-Russia summit.

"Any further steps by the Russian federation to destabilise the situation in Ukraine would lead to severe and far-reaching consequences for relations between the European Union and its member states on the one had and the Russian federation on the other hand, which will include a broad range of economic areas," European Council President Herman Van Rompuy told a news conference after a meeting of the European Union and Ukraine's new leaders.

"We strongly condemn Russia's unprovoked violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity. We call on Russia to immediately withdraw its armed forces and to allow immediate access for international monitors," he said. (Reporting by Barbara Lewis, Martin Santa and Jan Strupczewski)

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