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.
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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

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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.

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