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Big EU States Resist Push for Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

  • Germany, France resist push for quick sanctions package
  • Many European capitals skeptical of fears Russia may invade
Russian military vehicles are loaded onto aircraft during drills in Crimea, in April.

Russian military vehicles are loaded onto aircraft during drills in Crimea, in April.

Source: Russian Defense Ministry Press Service/AP Photo

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Leading nations of the European Union are resisting a push to quickly draw up specific sanctions and other punishments to impose on Russia if it invades Ukraine, even as the Kremlin shows no sign of backing off a massive troop buildup near its neighbor.

Germany, France, Italy and Spain want to focus now on talking to Moscow before laying out details of painful economic measures they’d trigger. But other member states argue that backing up the public threats of sanctions would better deter Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to senior diplomats and officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.