France to propose sanctions at EU level on Russian firms spreading disinformation

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visits Paris

PARIS (Reuters) -France will propose EU-wide level sanctions on those behind spreading disinformation amid what Paris sees as growing efforts by Russia to destabilise the bloc, Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne on Tuesday.

"Russia resorts ... to lies and manipulation of our public opinions, in particular by financing interference, promoting false media, and accusing Ukraine," Sejourne said at a press conference in Paris with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Labelling as "crude" Russia's efforts to blame Ukraine for an attack in Moscow that was claimed by a branch of Islamic State, he said Europe was determined to stop Russian efforts to destabilise the bloc.

"I will propose a sanctions regime against those who support disinformation and destabilisation in or country and Europe as a whole," Sejourne said.

(Reporting by John Irish, Simon Lewis and Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Alex Richardson)