France: More Russia sanctions if Ukraine port attacked

Kiev fears Mariupol, with its 500,000 people, could be the next major target for pro-Russia separatists.

    The capture of Mariupol could open a corridor to the south, including the already annexed Crimean peninsula [AP]
    The capture of Mariupol could open a corridor to the south, including the already annexed Crimean peninsula [AP]

    Moscow would face more EU sanctions if pro-Russia separatists attacked Ukraine's government-held port of Mariupol, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said.

    Speaking to France Info radio on Wednesday, Fabius said "The problem today is particularly around Mariupol. We've told the Russians clearly that if there was a separatist attack in the direction of Mariupol things would be drastically altered, including in terms of sanctions"."

    "At a European level the question of sanctions would be asked again," said Fabius, who hosted a meeting on Tuesday with his Russian, Ukrainian and German counterparts in which they renewed calls for an oft-breached ceasefire agreement to be respected.

    Kiev fears Mariupol, with its 500,000 people, could be the next major rebel target, its foreign minister Pavlo Klimkin said after the Paris talks.

    Its capture could open a corridor to the south, including the already annexed Crimean peninsula.

    Rebel commander Eduard Basurin said on Tuesday that the rebels still aimed to gain control of the entire territory of east Ukraine's two rebellious provinces, including Mariupol, but would seek this through "negotiations with the Ukrainian side".

    Basurin denied Kiev's assertions that there were serious clashes in villages near Mariupol, saying there had been provocations from the Ukrainian side but no major incidents.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    There are a number of reasons why Beijing continues to back Maduro's government despite suffering financial losses.