British foreign minister seeks tougher EU sanctions on Russia

London - By Christoph Meyer, - British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt has called for increased EU sanctions on Russia, warning that the country's "aggressive and malign behaviour undermines the international order" that keeps people safe.

Hunt was speaking in Washington on Tuesday.
EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic declined to comment specifically on his statement, but said the European Union already has "robust measures" in place, including sanctions imposed after Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea and interference in Ukraine.
Hunt's speech referred to Moscow's suspected role in the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal in the English city of Salisbury as grounds for tougher policy. The case prompted the United States to enact even tougher measures that are due to come into effect on Wednesday.
The fallout from the Skripal case also prompted a retaliatory round of expulsions of diplomats by several Western countries, and by Russia in response.
Hunt called for allied unity.
"The United Kingdom asks its allies to go further by calling on the European Union to ensure its sanctions against Russia are comprehensive, and that we truly stand shoulder to shoulder with the US," he said.
Kocijancic pointed out that any new EU sanctions would have to be agreed by all 28 member states.
In March, Skripal and his daughter were hospitalized and almost died after doctors discovered they had been poisoned by Novichok, a nerve agent. London subsequently accused Moscow of involvement, which led to a round of diplomatic recriminations.
A British couple later fell ill, one fatally, after they reportedly came into contact with the substance.

Tuesday, August 21st 2018
By Christoph Meyer,

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