EU urged to "keep up pressure" despite "slight differences"

EU urged to "keep up pressure" despite "slight differences"

ROME -- British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon says the EU must continue the pressure on Russia because it is evident that sanctions are producing results.

Fallon was taking part in a meeting of EU defense ministers in Italy dedicated to crises in Ukraine, Iraq and Libya, when he said the EU must remain determined when it comes to sanctions.

"Member state... have all had slightly different positions on it, but it is essential we keep up the pressure. The sanctions clearly are working and we are seeing that."

EU ambassadors on Monday postponed the introduction of a new package of sanctions against Russia to see if the ceasefire in Ukraine will be honored.

This unexpected decision "laid bare divisions within the 28-nation EU over how energetically to pursue sanctions against Russia, which has already taken trade reprisals and threatened more if the EU tightens sanctions further," Reuters reported.

According to Fallon, "the ball was in Russian President Vladimir Putin's court and he has to decide whether he wants to face the full force of sanctions or whether he wants to see some progress."

"The killing has to stop," said he.

Sanctions should not be relaxed "until we see some reciprocity from Russia in terms of moving troops back across the border and heavy equipment back across the border," the agency quoted the British official.

However, EU member states also fear Russia's response to the introduction of new sanctions against it.

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