"Too early" for Russia sanctions says Dutch PM Rutte
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte thinks it's too early to impose sanctions on Russia, but does not condone Russia's violations of international treaties.
He said this Thursday morning in Brussels just before the European summit about the crisis in Ukraine, where Russia has taken control over the Crimean peninsula, the Volkskrant reports.
As long as there is room for a political solution, Rutte will give diplomacy top priority. The PM did not exclude the possibility of heavy sanctions, however.
"We are looking at the situation on the hour" Rutte said. The EU member states earlier threatened that today would should be the day to take action against Russia, unless Moscow decided to stand down in the interim.
"That which was asked, didn't happen enough, or didn't happen at all", Rutte said. But "as long as there is a chance that the route of lessening the tension in the coming 24, 48, 72 hours, I think that we have to try that."
"Our impression is that the Russian leaders also realize that we are prepared to to resort to hard measures, but that at the same time, we also find it important to try to give Russia a chance to turn back of its own accord, and undo this violation of the international law."
The Prime Minister pointed out that Russia is being talked to in all different kinds of ways. But above everything, Russia is "violating international treaties", Rutte said.