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EU Ministers Agree To Stand Firm Against Russia

BRUSSELS -- EU foreign ministers have unanimously agreed on “five guiding principles” of the bloc’s policy toward Russia.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini spoke on March 14 after a meeting with the 28 ministers.

First, Russia must fully respect and implement the Minsk cease-fire agreement signed in February 2015, while Brussels will not recognize Moscow's "illegal" annexation of Crimea in March 2014, she said.

Other principles include strengthening EU relations “with our Eastern partners and other neighbors, in particular in Central Asia,” and EU resilience in areas such as energy.

Mogherini said ministers also recognized the need for "selective engagement with Russia on foreign policy issues" such as the Syria conflict and counterterrorism.

The fifth principle is the “willingness to support more and more the Russian civil society,” she added.

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