EU split on whether to meet Putin as bloc toughens stance on Russia

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DPA

The European Union resolved to toughen its stance on Russia with the threat of harsher sanctions at a summit on Thursday, but could not agree on whether to hold high-level talks with President Vladimir Putin. Instead of leaders meeting with the Kremlin chief, they will look for alternatives for dialogue, German Chancellor Angela Merkel – who had backed direct talks with Putin – announced. “What’s important for me is that a dialogue format continues,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said. “I personally would have wished for a bolder step.” Amid a deterioration of relations, the 27 heads of stat…

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