EU weighs up Russia World Cup boycott
European nations have discussed hitting Russia with sporting sanctions including a boycott of Vladimir Putin's showpiece 2018 football World Cup as a penalty for stoking the crisis in Ukraine, sources and reports said yesterday. Moscow could also face suspension from Formula One races and other sporting events, under long-term plans circulated among European diplomats alongside proposals for immediate economic sanctions.
Paris halts warship delivery to Russia
France yesterday said "conditions" were not in place to deliver the first of two Mistral-class warships to Russia, a move planned later this year that has sparked controversy given the crisis in Ukraine. Paris agreed in 2011 to build and sell the two advanced helicopter assault ships to Russia for a total of $1.6 billion with the first scheduled for delivery in October or November and the second in 2015. The US welcomed France's move calling it a wise decision. Paris has delayed the delivery of the Mistral-class warship at least for a month.
Australia yesterday banned uranium sales to Russia over its actions in Ukraine while announcing it will set up an embassy in Kiev and may offer military assistance. The announcement by Prime Minister Tony Abbott came just days after Canberra said it would toughen its sanctions against Moscow so they match those of the European Union.