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Dutch call for tighter Russian sanctions

Tuesday, July 29 17:26:57

Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans said today that sanctions on Russian capital markets being considered by EU member states in response to the Ukraine crisis would have a "far-reaching and immediate effect".

Speaking during a debate about the downing of a Malaysian airliner over rebel-held eastern Ukraine that killed 298 people, most of them Dutch, he said the sanctions would send a strong signal to Moscow that "you are on the wrong path".

Earlier, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte called Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to ask him to suspend military operations in the area where the airliner came down to allow international experts to reach the crash site.

Although most of the bodies have been repatriated, the experts have not been able to get to the site to retrieve other remains and belongings of the victims of the crash, 195 of whom were Dutch.

"They are losing valuable time," Rutte was quoted as saying in a statement issued by his office, which added that he had "urgently appealed to the Ukrainian president to stop the hostilities to facilitate the humanitarian work in dealing with the victims". (Reuters)

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