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Merkel doesn't exclude possibility of anti-Russian sanctions discussion at EU summit

Merkel doesn't exclude possibility of anti-Russian sanctions discussion at EU summitGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel said she does not exclude the possibility of anti-Russian sanctions discussion at the upcoming EU summit, Interfax-Ukraine reports.

"We can not exclude this possibility", she said it on Thursday night during a joint press conference with Francois Hollande President in Berlin after a meeting of heads of state in Normandy format and following tripartite negotiations (Germany, France, Russia) on the situation in Syria.

German Chancellor said that the tripartite talks of the Russia, Germany and France leaders on Syria "were tough and difficult". At the same time, Angela Merkel considers the progress in establishing the cessation of hostilities in Syria in the near future as very unlikely.

German Chancellor also called inhuman bombing of Aleppo from Moscow and Damascus: "It is cruel to blow up the people of Aleppo, and we are confident that there is no way to separate the terrorists and the civilian population when such bombings are carried out".

Merkel said that in order to establish the delivery of humanitarian aid to Aleppo there must be a truce, adding that "the foreign ministers will work on this".

Also, the German Chancellor said that Russia must put pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, "to ensure the safety of the civilian population" in Aleppo and placed the responsibility for initiating the process of political settlement in Syria to Moscow. "We clearly emphasised that Russia has to take a significant share of responsibility for the initiation of a political process in Syria", she said, stressing that the Russian Federation has to decide on issues such as humanitarian access and the organisation of a political settlement.

In turn, speaking about the possibility of discussing the issue of sanctions against Russia, French President Francois Hollande noted that "all the possibilities should be considered". "Everything that can be perceived (by Russia) as a threat, may be useful", he stressed.

The French President said that he regarded what is happening right now in Aleppo Syria as a "real war crime" and said that now it is necessary first of all to "stop the bombardment of Aleppo by the Syrian regime", and the Russian aviation. "Of course, there are terrorists in Aleppo... but the bombing has to stop", said Hollande, again calling for a political solution to the conflict in Syria.

He stressed that international pressure on the Syrian regime and those who support it will be continued. "We discussed these issues with Vladimir Putin today. We should have the largest possible pressure, because only in this way can we reach the beginning of the decision which may be taken during the meeting, which could take place in the coming days", Hollande said .
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