US and EU agree to impose new, harsher sanctions on Russia over Ukraine
By End the Lie
The United States and the European Union have agreed to put new economic sanctions in place against Russia in what some news outlets are calling a sharp escalation in targeted measures.
The sanctions are to be imposed over Russia’s failure to back down and their taking of a more direct role in the conflict in Ukraine, according to The New York Times.
Key sectors of the Russian economy will be targeted by the sanctions, the White House said on Monday when announcing the move.
The U.S. has accused Russia of not only ramping up their troop presence on the border with Ukraine, but also sending more heavy weaponry to pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.
The new U.S. and European sanctions are most likely going to target the Russian energy, arms and financial sectors, according to the Associated Press.
In addition, the EU is also considering levying sanctions on individuals close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“It’s precisely because we’ve not yet seen a strategic turn from Putin that we believe it’s absolutely essential to take additional measures, and that’s what the Europeans and the United States intend to do this week,” said Antony Blinken, Obama’s deputy national security advise, the Associated Press reports.
The decision to impose new sanctions came after an unusual video teleconference between President Barack Obama and the leaders of Britain, Germany, France and Italy. A European Union meeting is scheduled for Tuesday to address potential new sanctions on Russia.
“They agreed on the importance of coordinated sanctions measures on Russia for its continued transfer of arms, equipment and fighters in eastern Ukraine, including since the crash, and to press Russia to end its efforts to destabilize the country and instead choose a diplomatic path to resolving the crisis,” Blinken said.
Previously, the EU has been slower to impose sanctions on Russia, since the countries have significantly closer trade ties to Russia.
The offices of the French president and British prime minister both confirmed that they plan to adopt new sanctions.
British Prime Minister David Cameron’s office said “a strong package of sectoral sanctions” will be adopted “as swiftly as possible.”
The U.S. similarly said that the sanctions would be adopted quickly.
“There’s urgency to arresting these developments, to ending these efforts to destabilize Ukraine,” Blinken said. “On the call, the European leaders clearly shared this assessment, and a determination to act.”
Meanwhile, the Russian permanent representative to the United Nations said that the Ukrainian military’s effort to take control of the crash shite of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 “will of course directly violate [UN] resolution 2166,” according to ITAR-TASS.
Resolution 2166 “demands that all military activities, including by armed groups, be immediately ceased in the immediate area surrounding the crash site to allow for security and safety of the international investigation.”