The sanctions would include asset freezing and visa cancellations, Mr. Fabius said in an interview with local radio France Inter. He said he expects Russian authorities to answer to Western powers' proposals to defuse the crisis in the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea currently occupied by Russian troops.
"The vote in Crimea is illegal and there could be sanctions as early as this week against Russia," Mr. Fabius said.
He insisted the referendum vote to be held later this week in Crimea on whether the peninsula, home of many Russians, should belong to Russia is illegal. Mr. Fabius added the current government in Ukraine which took power from former president Viktor Yanukovych is legitimate since it came from a negotiation to which Mr. Yanukovych took part.
If the sanctions were to be imposed this will only make matters more worse and even tempt the Russians to cut off gas supply to Europe for some time if not to Ukraine atleast where they have a reason of non payment.