09:55 Oct. 13, 2016
Europe's ties with Russia fray in face of Moscow's role in Aleppo bombing
European relations with Moscow, which went into a tailspin over Ukraine in 2014, are deteriorating anew as Russian bombing of the Syrian city of Aleppo sweeps aside moves to ease tensions.
As European Union governments prepared to discuss next week how to step up their response to the Syrian bloodshed, Russian President Vladimir Putin lashed out Wednesday, accusing the U.S. and Europe of unfairly blaming Moscow for the breakdown of a Syrian cease-fire.
He spoke following calls in Berlin and other leading capitals for increased EU sanctions on Russia.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Saturday in Switzerland to discuss the situation in Syria, then head to London on Sunday for talks with European officials.
While there has been no formal order in Washington or Brussels to draw up a list of Russian officials to sanction for supporting the Syrian government, U.S. and European officials have quietly begun looking at what such sanctions might look like, according to diplomats.