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BRUSSELS, October 21. /TASS/. Heads of states and governments of the European Union (EU) are "calling for an end to the atrocities and an immediate cessation of hostilities" in Syria, President of the European Council Donald Tusk said summarizing the results of the first day of the EU summit in Brussels.
"Leaders (of the EU member-countries - TASS) discussed Syria. They strongly condemned the attacks by the Syrian regime and its allies, notably Russia, on civilians in Aleppo. The EU is calling for an end to the atrocities and an immediate cessation of hostilities," he said. "We have asked the High Representative (of the EU for Foreign Affairs and SecurityPolicy Federica) Mogherini to pursue further diplomatic and humanitarian efforts," he added.
Meanwhile, President of the European Council did not mention the possibility of sanctions related to the Syrian conflict to be imposed against Russia.
The final European Council conclusions released following the meeting also had no mention of anti-Russia sanctions. The document says that the EC "strongly condemns the attacks by the Syrian regime and its allies, notably Russia, on civilians in Aleppo" and "calls on them to bring the atrocities to an end and to take urgent steps to ensure unhindered humanitarian access to Aleppo and other parts of the country." "The EU is considering all available options, should the current atrocities continue," the document says.
Russia’s strategy is to weaken the European Union, Tusk said.
"Russia's strategy is to weaken the EU. We have a sober assessment of this reality, and no illusions," he said.
According to Tusk, Brussels does not plan to increase tensions with Moscow. "Increasing tensions with Russia is not our aim… Of course the EU is always ready to engage in dialogue. But we will never compromise our values or principles. That is why leaders agreed to stay the course," he said.