Jan 19, 2015 8:31 AM
EU won't ease Russia sanctions as Ukraine conflict rages
The Associated Press
BRUSSELS (AP) The European Union foreign ministers are ruling out any immediate easing of sanctions against Russia as fighting rages in eastern Ukraine, despite concerns about the economic consequences.
Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders said Monday that since the fighting around the Donetsk airport in eastern Ukraine had intensified, "this is no time to talk about the easing of sanctions."
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Antanas Linkevicius said Russia has shown "no political will, no movement on the ground, so no reason to change policy."
In Paris, French President Francois Hollande expressed concerns about the economic consequences of the sanctions for the European economy.
He stressed that French food producers have been especially affected by the sanctions, and said European officials "must make efforts" to address these issues.