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Faymann warns against further Russia sanctions

Chancellor Werner Faymann has spoken out in support of moving away from additional sanctions on Russia.

Speaking to press in Vienna this week, Faymann (SPOe) said he supports "100 percent" the position of the German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier that further sanctions would make the situation worse between Russia and Ukraine.

"I would fundamentally support what the German foreign minister Steinmeier made clear again today - that conflict between Russia and Ukraine should not be inflamed by additional sanctions, but on the contrary, that it is de-escalation that is required," Faymann said.

Europe and the United States have so far imposed some financial sanctions on individuals aligned with Putin and the ousted Ukrainian government. Austria is among the countries that have frozen assets held by these individuals in offshore banks accounts.

Austrian officials also said last week that they are coordinating with Ukraine's public prosecutors over the investigation of former Ukrainian government officials accused of money-laundering and sanctions violations.

The US has warned Russia they are prepared to impose further sanctions against the country unless they lay down weapons and tone down their aggressive behaviour in Ukraine, despite warning from European leaders and former heads of state including former US President Jimmy Carter who said this week that limiting the sanctions to the Russian leadership is the "proper approach" to avoid hurting the Russian people.

In his remarks this week, Faymann also said that the finance ministers and the Austrian central bank were assessing what scenarios may results as a consequence of the current and prospective EU sanctions.

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