The European Union can assume measures against Russia if the strikes on Aleppo remain as intensive as they had been prior to the humanitarian pause, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at the press conference summing up the results of the first day of the EU summit in Brussels.
“I think even if the bombings remain as intensive as they had been previously, this will be a ground for considering further actions,” she said when asked what is a reasonable ground for the European Union to consider anti-Russia sanctions.
Meanwhile, Merkel said that EU leaders had not discussed the schedule of further discussions about potential sanctions against Russia over Syria. “We did not discuss the consistency today, it did not play a role, there are many other formats in the EU for this,” she said, adding that the participants of the meeting only discussed “what measures should be taken if needed.”
According to Merkel, “there is a wide consensus regarding strategic opportunities related to Russia.” “On the one hand, there is a wish to keep normal relations as we are part of the so-called European platform. On the other hand, we see that Russia is aimed not at partnership but at expansion of the sphere of its influence,” she said, adding that “the discussion was focused on this”, while the conversation about sanctions against Russia at the EU summit was “tough.”.