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G7 'ready to intensify' sanctions on Russia: statement

Published on Mar 25, 2014 4:21 AM

THE HAGUE (AFP) - The Group of Seven top economic powers said Monday they are ready to step up sanctions against Russia if Moscow fails to de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine that has shaken relations.

"We remain ready to intensify actions including coordinated sectoral sanctions that will have an increasingly significant impact on the Russian economy if Russia continues to escalate this situation," the G7 said in a statement after crisis talks in The Hague on Russia's absorption of Crimea.

"Diplomatic avenues to de-escalate the situation remain open, and we encourage the Russian government to take them," the statement said, calling on Moscow to begin talks with Ukraine and "avail itself of offers of international mediation."

The G7 leaders condemned Russia's behaviour as "not consistent" with the group's shared beliefs and shared responsibilities.

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