Merkel Puts Off Fresh EU Russia Sanctions, Awaits Plane Probe

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the shooting down of a passenger plane over rebel-held territory in Ukraine will not on its own trigger additional European sanctions against Russia.

Merkel called for an impartial probe of the downing of the Malaysian plane and put the onus on Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the pro-Kremlin uprising in eastern Ukraine.

“Events have shown that the priority has to be on a political solution and that it is especially Russia’s responsibility for what is going on in Ukraine right now,” Merkel told reporters in Berlin today.

Merkel said the European Union’s priority is to enact sanctions that were sketched out at a summit this week, which would cut off investment credits and pave the way for the blacklisting of Russian companies.

Map: Malaysian Airliner Shot Down in Ukraine

To contact the reporters on this story: James G. Neuger in Brussels at; Arne Delfs in Berlin at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alan Crawford at Leon Mangasarian, Andrew Blackman

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