News / Europe

    US, Britain: Tough Sanctions Against Russia if Ukraine Vote Is Disrupted

    US, UK: Russia Will Face Sectoral Sanctions if it Disrupts Ukraine Votei
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    Scott Stearns
    May 15, 2014 10:21 PM
    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and British Foreign Secretary William Hague say the United States and European Union will hit Russia with far tougher economic sanctions if it tries to disrupt next week's presidential election in Ukraine. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from London where Kerry and Hague discussed the crisis in Ukraine with foreign ministers from France, Italy, and Germany.
    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and British Foreign Secretary William Hague say the United States and European Union will hit Russia with far tougher economic sanctions if it tries to disrupt next week's presidential election in Ukraine. Kerry and Hague discussed the crisis in Ukraine Thursday in London with foreign ministers from France, Italy, and Germany.

    Foreign Secretary Hague says the European Union and United States are preparing broader, sectoral sanctions against Russia if it interferes with May 25 voting to choose a new government in Kyiv.

    "Russia's behavior towards the elections will determine whether or not wider economic and trade sanctions will be applied," he said.

    Pro-Russian separatists have seized government buildings across eastern Ukraine, declaring sovereignty in two regions and rejecting plans for next week's presidential vote. Hague says disrupting that vote can take many different forms, so actions that Russia might be punished for cannot be defined in advance.

    "We can't give and wouldn't want to give an exact definition of that," he said. "If we set a red line, Russia knows that they can go up to that red line without those sanctions."

    Secretary Kerry says the U.S. and European Union message to Moscow is simple:

    "Let Ukraine vote. Let the Ukrainian people choose their future," he said. "And let them do so in a fair, open, free, accessible, election."

    Kerry says he hopes to avoid tougher sanctions and gain Russia's help in de- escalating the crisis.

    "Our hope is that Russia will join in to encourage the vote, that Russia will encourage pro-Russian separatists to say that they should work through the process that has now been opened up - that Russia has helped insist on - so that process can now be given a chance to work," he said.

    Ukraine launched national unity talks Wednesday without the participation of pro-Russian separatists. Kerry says the process is part of "serious, concrete plans" for increased autonomy and decentralization.

    Russia says it fears for the rights of Russian-speakers in eastern provinces of Ukraine. Kerry told reporters in London that the level of self-governance being offered by Kyiv "far exceeds any level of autonomy or decentralization that exists anywhere in Russia.

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    by: Philadelphian from: Philadelphia, USA
    May 19, 2014 11:56 PM
    the difference between right and wrong in Ukraine is defined by those willing to kill for their believes, and those willing to die for their believes. in February those willing to die overthrew Yanukovich. today those willing to die defy Kiev, EU, US, and likes of this stupid article.

    by: Дмитрий Равицкий
    May 17, 2014 12:07 PM
    Hey, people! Turn on your mind! Ukrainian crisis was generated by Ukrainian governers during all 23 years of independence. The sharp culturogical and historical contraditions were multiplied especially in last 10 years, after a shamefull "orange revolunion". In fakt, abot 50 % of ukrainian population is single-nation oriented, but another half of peoples are, as you like to say, pro-russians. They don't want to live as it is likely to ukranian nationalists.

    by: gen from: Japan
    May 16, 2014 5:34 AM
    But it is OK.The round table seems to be held in Doneztk region in a few days.

    by: gen from: Japan
    May 16, 2014 5:25 AM
    Russia would not be afraid of the sanctions.They would feel that americans set on fire in kiev to use right sectore.it was the cause of the problem.but US insist
    Russia is the responsibility of Ujraine crisis.
    This is not so logical.And the crisis is fueling by their blaming russia like making Russia crossi the border and like waging a war between Russia and Europe.
    Russia says don't cross the border.
    Even if Russia say the separatists not hamper the election,the separatists might hamper the election be held in Doneztk etc regions.It is because the kiev government's attack the region by US support.They use UN same markig choppers use to attack the separatists.
    But US insist Russia should be blamed.
    It is totally illogical.Russia don't be afraid of the sanction.Russia feel US is illogical.

    by: Anonymous
    May 16, 2014 3:52 AM
    Is it done that Russia annexes Crimea few months ago?
    Why would Russia be afraid of the sanctions

    by: Olpe Murphy
    May 16, 2014 1:56 AM
    "We can't give and wouldn't want to give an exact definition of that," he said.

    So Kerry is telling Russia not to do something, but he's not saying what that something is.

    Ukraine launched national unity talks Wednesday without the participation of pro-Russian separatists. Kerry says the process is "serious...

    Yeah, right. How can you have "unity talks" when you don't invite one half of the "unity"?

    Secretary Kerry says the U.S. and European Union message to Moscow is simple: "Let Ukraine vote. Let the Ukrainian people choose their future," he said.

    Except that if pro-Russians vote, that vote is different, it is "illegitimate." Sheer hypocrisy.


    by: Olpe Murphy
    May 16, 2014 1:45 AM
    Kerry told reporters in London that the level of self-governance being offered by Kyiv "far exceeds any level of autonomy or decentralization that exists anywhere in Russia."

    Actually, John Kerry, Russia is a federation of semi-independent states, with much more independence than states in the USA. Maybe you should read up on those things before you open your mouth to take you foot out of it.

    by: Tibor from: Germany
    May 16, 2014 1:40 AM
    This kind of cheap rhetoric makes Russia just stronger and more self reliant. If that is the aim of US/EU, than just continue so.
    Finally all those transparent anti Russian slogans will make Russia more popular and recognized, as she couldn't be intimidated by the empty words of self made western "politicians".

    by: gen from: Japan
    May 15, 2014 11:31 PM
    Eruopean coutries don't let US and UK speak about this upcoming president election in Ukraine. US and UK officials provocative comments makes the sepratists stimulate hamper the election.Is it intentional? If the separatists stimulated by these comments,sanction,then if the seoaratists should hamper it,Russia would be blamed,US and UK insist,Russia would be sanctioned,the tension in Europe would rise as US and UK expected.The military business for them would prosper.US and UK would be rich.but Eroupe and Russia would shed much blood.This is USA's way of military business. US is provocative,then it makes the eneny declare a war and attack first.US counterattack the enemy.So US would be a hero in the way.This is a real USA.
    For Eroupe ,US and UK is a far way countories over sea.Their comments should be ignored.

    by: gen from: Japan
    May 15, 2014 11:27 PM
    Eruopean coutries don't let US and UK speak about this upcoming president election in Ukraine. US and UK officials provocative comments makes the sepratists stimulate hamper the election.Is it intentional? If the separatists stimulated by these comments,sanction,then if the seoaratists should hamper it,Russia would be blamed,US and UK insist,Russia would be sanctioned,the tension in Europe would rise as US and UK expected.The military business for them would prosper.US and UK would be rich.but Eroupe and Russia would shed much blood.This is USA's way of military business. US is provocative,then it makes the eneny declare a war and attack first.US counterattack the enemy.So US would be a hero in the way.This is a real USA.
    For Eroupe ,US and UK is a far way countories over sea.Their comments should be ignored.
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