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France condemns Putin's Crimea annexation, mulls sanctions

media The annexation agreement is signed, 18/03/2014 Reuters

French president François Hollande has condemned Russia’s annexation of Crimea, declaring in a statement that France does not recognise a new status for Crimea.

Meanwhile Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Tuesday that France could suspend its controversial sale of warships to Russia, if other EU countries also responded firmly to Moscow’s annexation of Crimea.

But one thousand French jobs depend on the one billion euro contract and Fabius stressed that he expected other countries to share some of the sanctions burden.

"There is no reason why it should only be France who takes this kind of action," he told the French radio station Europe 1 on Tuesday morning.

"On the one hand we cannot envisage supplying Russia indefinitely with arms given the way it has behaved, on the other hand there is the reality of jobs and the economy."

On Monday, talking to TF1 television, Fabius had explicitly said France would expect Britain to "do the equivalent with the assets of Russian oligarchs in London. Sanctions have to touch everyone."

Meanwhile Britain announced on Tuesday afternoon that it is to suspend all bilateral military cooperation with Russia after it signed the treaty making Crimea a Russian territory.

"We have suspended all such cooperation," British Foreign Minister William Hague told parliament, saying a technical cooperation agreement and joint naval exercises with Russia, France, Britain and the United States had been put on hold.



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