Can EU get tough?

The European Union will consider restricting Russia’s access to capital markets and to sensitive technologies unless President Vladimir Putin expedites the investigation of the downing of the Malaysian Air flight over eastern Ukraine, three officials said.

EU governments would move toward those stiffer sanctions if Putin refuses to abide by a United Nations resolution calling for an international probe into the disaster and unimpeded access to the crash site, according to proposals being weighed by the bloc’s foreign ministers at a meeting in Brussels today.

The officials, who asked not to be identified because the discussion is in progress, didn’t spell out the precise trigger or timetable for the stepped-up sanctions or what they would entail. The proposal requires approval by all 28 EU foreign ministers and may be modified before a decision is released later today.

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