News / Europe

Russia Criticizes Western Sanctions

US, EU Impose More Sanctions On Russia For Actions in Ukrainei
April 29, 2014 4:14 AM
The United States and European Union have imposed more sanctions against Russia, saying Moscow has failed to fulfill its commitment to work on defusing tensions in eastern Ukraine. The West is accusing Russia of instigating rebellion by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, with a goal of destabilizing the country. Zlatica Hoke says U.S. and EU officials warn of additional sanctions if Russia does not abide by the agreement reached in Geneva earlier this month.
Watch related video from VOA's Zlatica Hoke.
VOA News
Russia has accused the European Union of a "complete lack of understanding" of Ukraine's domestic politics, as the EU released the names of 15 new targets of sanctions due to their roles in the Ukraine crisis.

Russia's foreign ministry said Tuesday the EU sanctions were a "direct invitation for local Neo-Nazis" to continue their lawless acts in the southeast.

"If this is how someone in Brussels hopes to stabilize the situation in Ukraine, it is obvious evidence of a complete lack of understanding of the internal political situation ... and a direct invitation for the local neo-Nazis to continue to conduct lawlessness and reprisals against the peaceful population of the southeast,'' the foreign ministry said in a statement. "Are they not ashamed?''

Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said separately that U.S. and EU sanctions were "an absolutely counterproductive, trite measure that will force the already critical situation in Ukraine into a dead end,'' state-run news agency RIA reported.

The United States and the EU issued targeted travel bans and asset freezes Monday.  The list released by the EU Tuesday includes Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak and General Valery Gerasimov, the chief of staff of Russia's armed forces. The seven officials and 17 companies targeted by the U.S. include President Vladimir Putin’s envoy to Crimea, the chief of the service protecting the Russian president and the head of Russia’s largest state-owned oil producer.

The Kremlin is promising a "painful" response.

Japanese sanctions

Japan on Tuesday said it would also deny visas to 23 Russians as part of its sanctions against Moscow for "infringing" on Ukraine's sovereignty. It did not identify those affected.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon says Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu assured Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that Russian forces will not invade eastern Ukraine.

The two spoke by telephone on Monday, with Hagel wanting clarification on Russia's intentions.  Shoigu told Hagel that Russian troops had returned to barracks after conducting exercises on the Ukrainian border.  But a NATO official told reporters Tuesday that NATO has seen no sign that the troops are withdrawing.

A Pentagon spokesman said Hagel emphasized how dangerous the situation is, and that Ukraine has the right to preserve law and order inside its borders.

Hagel also asked for Russian help in freeing seven European inspectors held by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Pro-Russian gunmen took control of government buildings in the city of Kostyantynivka on Monday. Separatists are now in control of Ukrainian government buildings in at least 11 eastern and southern cities. They are demanding referendums on whether to secede from Ukraine and join Russia.

A similar vote in Crimea last month led to Russia's annexation of that Ukrainian peninsula.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters

You May Like

Photogallery Belgian Security Measures Foreshadow New Normal for Europe

Rising threat of terrorism, disaffected Muslim populations and open borders, along with refugee, migrant crisis, are creating perfect storm for Europe, which some analysts fear continent is ill-suited to weather

Competing Claims of Responsibility for Mali Hotel Attack

Malian authorities ask public for help in identifying gunmen killed in attack, amid conflicting claims of responsibility from multiple jihadist groups active in the country

Video Debt-ridden Refugees Await Onslaught of Lebanese Winter

Aid agencies are attempting to reduce potentially devastating consequences of freezing conditions and snowstorms that killed eight last year, including three Syrian refugees

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Marick from: Ukraine
April 29, 2014 7:42 AM
I can't believe this. what is happening to us? we live in such incredible brotherhood and harmony and comradeship together in Israel both Ukrainians and Russians - why can't we live together in Ukraine.? is this the Obama instigation.?
In Response

by: Frank Capra
April 30, 2014 2:55 PM
@marick I wish Ukraine could make her own decisions and choose her own destiny without machinations and interference from her more powerful neighbor. But so long as a paranoid, pathological lying, megalomaniac like President-Prime Minister-for-life Vlad the Crazy is in power no country near Russia is safe.
In Response

by: greg from: mass.
April 29, 2014 8:17 PM
Why dont all sides involved buy the board game called risk and play that game who ever wins gets ukraine ,This way no one gets hurt.

by: Arthur from: Berlin
April 29, 2014 7:21 AM
We must reduce consumption of Russia's gas and don't pay billions of dollars to aggressor. I saw some images on Russia's TV where it has shown some pictures of destroying EU and USA by Russia's nuclear power. It seems like we contribute to our death...

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
April 29, 2014 7:11 AM
Sanctions, more sanctions, and now new sanctions: What have sanctions achieved? In Iran it only caused a delay not a change of mind. In North Korea it has remained the same with attendant belligerency. In Russia the idea is to find ways to devastate the Russian system and see it grossly incapacitated. Both the US and EU know that the sanctions cannot achieve anything more than merely try to reopen the old cold war wounds and stratify the globe once more along ideological lines capable of reactivating more ferocious arms race and scramble for alignments. If anything, the West should know that further isolation of Russia is counterproductive and can lead to inestimable chaos. Solution rather is to bring Russia closer in the system of European integration for greater world peace, failing which the stage has been set for a stiffer competition starting in Ukraine which, rather than abating, is escalating.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs