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Russia, Germany Up Diplomatic Battle Over Ukraine Sanctions

wochit politics
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July 28, 2014 AT 7:15 AM
As fighting intensified in Ukraine on Monday, a diplomatic battle also raged, with Berlin warning that new European sanctions would send a "strong signal" to Moscow, and Russia saying the measures could only boost its economic independence. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow had no intention of imposing tit-for-tat sanctions, the day before the 28-nation European Union was set to finalise a package of measures that may close the bloc's capital markets to Russian state banks. EU states are expected to reach a final decision on Tuesday on measures that also may include, in addition to capital markets restrictions, an embargo on arms sales and limits on dual-use and energy technologies. The EU added new names on Friday to its list of individuals and companies facing travel bans and asset freezes. Russia warned sanctions could hamper cooperation over security issues. Germany, Europe's biggest exporter to Russia, had been reluctant to agree to heavier sanctions, but spokeswoman Christiane Wirtz said MH17 case had changed that.