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    EU must end all economic ties to Russia as fast as possible – Lindner

    BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union must work toward cutting all economic ties with Russia over its "criminal" war in Ukraine, German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said on Monday, but cast doubt over an immediate embargo on Russian gas imports.

    "We are dealing with a criminal war," Lindner in Brussels before talks with his EU colleagues. "It is clear we must end as quickly as possible all economic ties to Russia. Gas cannot be substituted in the short term."

    He said that all options were on the table and that an encompassing ban on all Russian energy imports would inflict more economic damage on EU member states than on Russia.

    Therefore the EU must look separately at the possibility of banning oil, coal or gas, which can be replaced at varying speeds.

    (Writing by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Maria Sheahan)

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