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“We have joined the discussion process with EU countries, and it continues,” he told journalists in Brussels.
In addition, Mann confirmed that in order to make a decision on possible sanctions, unanimity of EU members was needed. Thus, he admitted in fact that there is no consensus among the union’s members regarding the applying of the so-called third phase of sanctions against Russia.Meanwhile, earlier on Wednesday, head of Austrian government Werner Faymann stated that new sanctions would only boost tension between Moscow and Kiev. “I completely support the stance of German Minister of foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier: there is no need to aggravate the conflict between Moscow and Kiev by imposing new sanctions. On the contrary, there is need in lowering tension,” he said. Faymann added that the National Bank of Austria and the Finance Ministry were jointly carrying out an assessment of possible consequences for the EU in case a further package of sanctions against Russia is imposed.