11:26 Oct. 6, 2016
Consideration follows breakdown of bilateral talks between Moscow and Washington over the conflict
Germany is considering a push for European sanctions against Russia in response to its actions in the Syria conflict, a person familiar with the German deliberations said Wednesday, signaling that Europe is seeking new ways to pressure Moscow to quell the violence there.
Chancellor Angela Merkel's government, the person said, is examining ways to push Moscow to change course in Syria, where Russian warplanes have supported Syrian government forces in a siege of rebel-held areas in the city of Aleppo.
Western leaders are calling the situation an increasingly grave humanitarian crisis. German and U.S. officials have said Russia is behind some of the bombardment of hospitals and other civilian installations in Aleppo.
One action Germany is considering, the person said, is implementing new European Union economic sanctions against Russia. Two years ago, Ms. Merkel, the EU's most influential leader, corralled the bloc's 28 countries to impose joint sanctions against Russia over its military intervention in Ukraine.
European leaders are growing increasingly frustrated with Moscow's behavior in Syria. The escalating violence has raised fears of a new wave of refugees entering Turkey and possibly trying to make their way to Europe.
Some officials in Washington think sanctions tied to Russia's support of the Syrian regime are the best hope for changing Moscow's tactics in Syria, according to U.S. officials.