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Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos warns against EU sanctions on Russia

Pro-Russian protesters attend a rally in front of the Regional administration building in Donetsk, Ukraine, on Wednesday.

A day before European Union leaders gather in Brussels for an emergency summit about the crisis in Ukraine, Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos expressed fears on Wednesday over the possibility of the EU imposing sanctions on Russia over the latter’s military presence in Ukraine.

“Sanctions are unfortunately always double-edged, with repercussions for those who suffer them but also for those who impose them,” Venizelos told a press conference in Athens on Wednesday. “We don’t want sanctions,” he added a few hours before Prime Minister Antonis Samaras boarded a flight to Brussels to meet his EU peers.

According to sources at the ministry, Athens is reluctant to lose the new momentum in Greek-Russian ties, particularly following the expression of Russian investor interest in the operating arm of the Hellenic Railways Organization, Trainose, and the Thessaloniki Port Authority (OLTH).

There are fears that the possible imposition of sanctions on Russia could put off the potential investors. Sources indicated, however, that Greek diplomats believe a financial war between Brussels and the Ukraine is not in the EU’s interest and will probably be avoided.

ekathimerini.com , Wednesday March 5, 2014 (21:17)  
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