France to ask EU to suspend military ties with US over EU sanctions
France will ask the European Union to suspend diplomatic ties with Washington over US sanctions, a senior official has said.
France will also request that Washington not lift any of the measures it announced on Monday against Russia and other countries that support President Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Tuesday.
He made the comments in an interview with France Inter radio.
Mr Fabius has called on the EU to adopt a “stronger” approach with Washington.
The French government is “deeply concerned” by US measures, Mr Fabius told France Inter, adding that Paris was ready to put its weight behind those measures.
“We believe that the EU is ready to take further action,” he said.
France has imposed sanctions on a range of Russia-backed and pro-Moscow groups, including the self-styled Donetsk People’s Republic and the self -styled Russian Black Sea Fleet.
It also imposed new restrictions on travel to and from Russia and blocked a number of Russian companies and banks from entering the EU.
The measures come amid a surge in tension in the eastern European country, where pro-Russia separatists have seized the Crimean Peninsula and the Russian military has been conducting a military campaign in support of the self –styled government.
Moscow has repeatedly denied any military involvement in the Ukraine conflict.
In the interview, Mr. Fabius also said he would visit the Ukrainian capital Kiev and the Crimean peninsula on March 23.