• Germany's news in English

Europe threatens Russia with sanctions over MH17

DPA/The Local · 20 Jul 2014, 19:51

Published: 20 Jul 2014 19:51 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit
French President François Hollande and British Prime Minister David Cameron threatened Russian President Vladimir Putin with consequences when the EU foreign ministers meet on Tuesday after the shooting down of the passenger plane in eastern Ukraine, allegedly by pro-Russian separatists using a Russian surface-to-air missile.
A statement from the UK government following Cameron's call with Merkel and Hollande said: "They... agreed that the EU must reconsider its approach to Russia and that foreign ministers should be ready to impose further sanctions on Russia when they meet on Tuesday."
London, Berlin and Paris all said Putin must act immediately to give international investigators unfettered access to the crash area. 

Merkel mum on sanctions

Four Germans were among the victims, but Merkel has so far continued to take a softly, softly approach to Putin. 
She spoke with him by phone on Saturday and after the call her office released a statement saying both agreed an international investigation was needed.
And on Sunday, while Hollande and Cameron increased their tone against Putin, the chancellor's office did not mention sanctions or action toward Russia, confirming simply that Merkel had spoken to several leaders including the Dutch, Australian and Finnish prime ministers as well as Cameron and Hollande. 
The statement also said Merkel spoke again on Sunday to Putin and to Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko.
She called on Putin to use his influence to bring the rebels to the negotiating table, the statement said, failing to mention any consequences for Russia over flight MH17. 
Germany has so far been reluctant to take strong action against Russia for its annexation of Crimea and its arming of rebels in eastern Ukraine. The two countries have strong trading and cultural ties. Germany also gets 36 percent of its gas from Russia. 
'Russia needs us'
But on Sunday, Britain' frustration with its European allies, including Germany, which has failed to support stronger sanctions, appeared to be boiling over.
'For too long there has been a reluctance to face up to the implications of what is happening,' Cameron wrote in The Sunday Times. 

"It is time to make our power, influence and resources count. Our economies are strong and growing in strength.

"And yet we sometimes behave as if we need Russia more than Russia needs us."

He added: "In Europe we should not need to be reminded of the consequences of turning a blind eye when big countries bully smaller countries... but we do."

He said some European governments saw the Ukraine crisis as a "problem to be managed and contained, not a challenge to be met and mastered".

So far the EU has imposed sanctions against companies and individuals but not against Russian industries.
Story continues below…
US Secretary of State John Kerry called on the Europeans in several television talk shows on Sunday to follow the example of Washington and to tighten their sanctions.
He told CNN: "We hope that this will be a wake-up call for some countries in Europe that have wanted to sort of stand back and give this more time and worry more about the trade relationship. 
"This is the moment of truth for Russia. Russia is supporting these separatists. Russia is arming these separatists. Russia is training these separatists. 
"And Russia has not yet done the things necessary in order to try to bring them under control, which everybody believes they have more of an ability to do than they have exercised.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov dismissed any responsibility for the tragedy and criticized reports which blamed Russia for the crash as "premature".

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
German hospital uses therapy to 'treat' paedophiles
A poster from the campaigne "Don't offend", which offers therapy to paedophiles. The sign reads "Do you love kids more than you'd prefer? There's help." Photo: DB Scholz & Friends / DPA.

A unique German initiative is offering therapy to paedophiles to control their urges, with the aim of getting them help before they offend.

Minister: 'no tolerance' for clowns after chainsaw attack
Photo: DPA

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière has called for a zero-tolerance approach to 'killer clowns' after a series of attacks culminating in two teenagers being chased by a clown wielding a chainsaw.

Baby who was auctioned on eBay taken away from father
Photo: DPA.

A German court ruled on Thursday that a man who put his one-month-old baby up for sale on the online auction platform eBay should only be allowed contact with the child under supervision.

Portugal's ruling party calls German minister 'pyromaniac'
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble. Photo: DPA.

The head of Portugal's ruling Socialists called German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble a "pyromaniac" on Thursday after he criticized Lisbon for reversing course on austerity.

These are Germany's top ten universities
The new library of Freiburg University. Photo: Jörgens.mi / Wikimedia Commons

These are the best universities in all of Germany - at least according to one ranking.

Introducing Swabians - 'the Scots of Germany'
Photo: DPA

These Southern Germans have quite a reputation in the rest of the country.

Woman sues dentist over job rejection for headscarf
Photo: DPA

A dentist in Stuttgart is being taken to court by a woman whom he rejected for a job as his assistant on the basis that she wears a Muslim headscarf.

Isis suspect charged with scouting Berlin attack sites
Photo: DPA

German federal prosecutors said Thursday they had brought charges against a 19-year-old Syrian man accused of having scouted targets in Berlin for a potential attack by the Isis terror group.

Berlin Holocaust memorial could not be built now: creator
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

The architect of the Berlin Holocaust memorial has said that, if he tried to build the monument again today, it would not be possible due to rising xenophobia and anti-Semitism in Germany and the United States.

'Liberal' Germany stopping Europe's 'slide into barbarism'
Ian Kershaw. Photo: DPA

Europe is not slipping into the same dark tunnel of hate and nationalism that it did in the 1930s - mainly thanks to Germany - one of the continent's leading historians has said.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd