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Hollande says EU sanctions on Russia to be increased over Ukraine
Ukrainian servicemen rest near their military equipment inside a military camp in the Donetsk region, on August 29, 2014.Paris - French President Francois Hollande said Saturday that EU leaders meeting in Brussels were likely to boost sanctions on Russia over the escalating Ukraine conflict. "Sanctions will be no doubt increased and the Commission will have to work on" implementing this, Hollande told reporters after a meeting of centre-left leaders in Paris. The Ukraine crisis is "The biggest crisis since the end of the Cold War," said Hollande. "It's close to Europe. It's on the border of Europe... What is happening concerns Europe directly. Not just Europe, the whole world, but especially Europe," he added. The European Union and the United States in July stepped up sanctions against Russia and pro-Moscow separatists in Ukraine after a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet was shot down over rebel-held territory. Hollande said Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko would be "Very closely listened to" at Saturday's summit of EU leaders. Earlier on Saturday, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said EU leaders would make a decision on further sanctions on Russia, expressing "Deep concern" over the situation. EU leaders meet later on Saturday in Brussels for a summit that was supposed to be about doling out top jobs in the bloc but has been taken over by events on the EU's eastern edge.

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