German Chancellor Angela Merkel said sanctions against Russia over its actions in Syria should remain an option for the European Union.
Merkel said she and French President Francois Hollande will discuss Syria with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of a meeting on Ukraine in Berlin on October 19, but cautioned against expecting "miracles" to come out of the discussion.
The two leaders have been sharply critical of Russia's support for the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and have accused both Russia and Syria of atrocities, such as intentionally bombing civilians and hospitals.
Merkel said on October 18 that, in light of the "disastrous situation"in Syria, "no options, including that of sanctions, can be taken off the table...but the priority is that we look at lessening people's suffering in some way, and that will be an issue" in the meeting with Putin.
Merkel's statement came one day after EU Foreign Minister Frederica Mogherini said the bloc was not considering putting sanctions on Russia for its actions in Syria.