Dutch FM against new sanctions for Russia

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The Netherlands sees no sense in implementing more sanctions against Russia for its role in the situation in Syria, Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs said. "The only real solution for the Syrian conflict lies at the negotiating table", the Dutch Minister said, NOS reports.

On Sunday Nikki Haley, the United States ambassador at the United Nations, announced in an interview with CBS that the U.S. is imposing sanctions against Russian companies that have anything to do with Syrian president Assad and chemical weapons in Syria. She previously stated that Russia allows the Assad government's use of chemical weapons. 

Russia used vetoes in the UN Security council to block an investigation into a recent poison gas attack in Douma, Syria, as well as a joint investigation by the UN and the OPWC to find out who was behind the attack.

Minister Blok again called for a cease fire in Syria. "There must also be access to humanitarian aid and political consultation. Russia must really come to the table", he said.

His Belgian colleague Didier Reynders also said that Belgium is against new sanctions against Russia, according to NOS. "It is crucial that the dialogue with the allies of Syria be resumed." He expects that it will take a few days for the dust to settle, but then talks must start. The Belgian Minister further warned that Syria should not become a second Libya. "There we intervened militarily, but did not work on reconstruction and that country slipped into chaos."

EU head of foreign affairs Federica Mogherini also wants to start peace negotiations. "We have a long day ahead", she said before the start of a meeting of the EU Foreign Ministers in Luxembourg on Monday. She hopes to release a joint statement from the 28 EU Member States during the course of the day. Next week there will be a special conference in Brussels on the future of Syria.