March 15 - French President Francois Hollande revisits the idea of sanctions on Russia with Italy's new PM, should Moscow refuse to de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine. Gavino Garay reports.
While tensions mount in Ukraine -- French President Francois Holland and newly appointed Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi meet in the serenity of the Elysee Palace in Paris. France is now reviewing a third level of sanctions, should Moscow refuse to de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine, and its intervention in the Crimea region. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT FRANCOIS HOLLANDE SAYING: "As far as other sanctions, notably military cooperation, that is the third level of sanctions, and for now we are at the first level." Renzi, Italy's youngest-ever Italian Prime Minister, focused on strengthening Europe's core. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER MATTEO RENZI SAYING: "I think we have a common Political objective, with a capital P, and that is to tell our citizens, some of whom are discouraged and no longer believe in Europe, that Europe is where the greatest political gamble can be made. And if someone no longer believes in Europe, because he experienced the economic crisis first hand, than I say that we could have more euros in our pockets only if we have more Europe in our institutions and in our politics." The United States and European Union are expected to unveil a list of Russian officials subject to asset freezes and visa bans on Monday. That's a day after a planned referendum in Ukraine's Crimea on whether the ethnically-Russian region will join Russia. For now, the voting booths are gearing up in what has led to the most tense confrontation between East and West since the Cold War.