News / Europe

US, EU Threaten Russia with More Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is surrounded by security as he arrives in Geneva, April 16, 2014.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is surrounded by security as he arrives in Geneva, April 16, 2014.
Reuters
European countries and the United States are threatening Russia with more sanctions unless it takes steps at the Geneva meeting to show it will de-escalate the conflict in Ukraine, although officials say they expect no breakthrough.

So far, diplomacy has failed to keep up with events on the ground, with Russia's partisans seizing control of territory before Western countries can formulate a response.

Bloodshed has been limited so far during the uprising in the east, with two people killed on Sunday, including a member of the Ukrainian state security forces shot dead. Kiev says it is doing all it can to avoid any shooting.

The United States and European Union have so far imposed visa bans and asset freezes on a small number of Russian individuals, a response that Moscow has openly mocked. However, the Western states say they are now contemplating more serious measures that could hurt Russia's economy more broadly, which could be put into place shortly after Thursday's Geneva meeting.
 
FILE - President Barack Obama.FILE - President Barack Obama.
x
FILE - President Barack Obama.
FILE - President Barack Obama.
"What I have said consistently is that each time Russia takes these kinds of steps that are designed to violate their sovereignty, that there are going to be consequences,'' U.S. President Barack Obama said on Wednesday in an interview with CBS. Using words unheard since the Cold War, he said the United States had stronger conventional military forces than Russia, and neither side wanted a conflict. ``We don't need a war,'' he said.

 Western countries have repeatedly made clear they are not prepared to fight for Ukraine, but the NATO alliance announced military deployments on Wednesday to beef up defences of member states such as Poland and the Baltic countries, which feel threatened by Russian action nearby.

Upon arriving in Geneva on Wednesday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia said there was still time for negotiations to ease tensions with Russia.

"I think that we still have a chance to de-escalate the situation using the diplomatic means,'' he said. "And we will try hard. We are trying hard - not only Ukraine - but also the United States. However, the time is now, not only to express the concerns, but to look for a more concrete and adequate response to Russia's plans and actions.''

Kiev and the West believe Russian agents are directing the insurgency in the east. A U.S. official said Washington was looking for evidence in Geneva that Russia would stop.

"The idea here is that they would stop aiding and abetting and supporting these separatists and that they would pull their troops back from the borders,'' the official told reporters as Secretary of State John Kerry flew to Geneva.

The European Commission took a step towards preparing for wider sanctions, handing documents to EU member states on Wednesday explaining the potential impact on their economies of stricter trade and financial measures, diplomats said.

The documents examine energy, finance, trade and other areas. A number of EU countries that rely heavily on Russian gas supplies are nervous about possible retaliation from Moscow, and at least one EU diplomat said the measures had to be balanced.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: xolile from: africa
April 17, 2014 5:18 PM
Bravo to President Putin for not using his legitimate approval right to use force in Ukraine.Thanks to Russian millitary comanders to treat their Ukrainian Military counter parts and men as their brothers.Thanks to Ukrainian military soldiers for their professional approach to denounce resistance against Russia which could have lead to bloodshed.Thanks to Ukrainian soldiers that really accept their follow countrymen and protesters as their brothers.Down to USA,Nato and coup government that instigate war and turning people against each other.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More