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

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap 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.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid