Western leaders may impose more sanctions on Russia if it takes further action after its seizure of Ukraine’s Crimea, the Dutch Prime Minister told CNBC, adding that the West did not accept the Russian occupation.
Dutch leader Mark Rutte said he had discussed the issue with numerous world leaders including U.S. President Barack Obama, at a summit being held on Tuesday at The Hague in the Netherlands.
“I feel that we have a general agreement that at this stage we do not accept the fact that Crimea has been occupied,” Rutte told CNBC Tuesday.
“At the same time, we’re trying to contain the issue to Crimea. And if it were to… escalate, in that case we are preparing targeted sanctions.”
Rutte said these targeted sanctions would hit Russia harder than they would Europe or the U.S., although he admitted there would be an “unavoidable (spillover) effect.”
He added: “It’s difficult to foresee whether he (Russian President Vladimir Putin) will retract from Crimea or not, but I do feel that Russia senses we are serious and we want them to give up the Crimea, and at least prevent this conflict from spiraling to other regions of Ukraine.”
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