Kerry Warns More Russian Sanctions Possible Over Ukraine
Secretary of State John Kerry is signaling the possibility of more sanctions on Russia over continued fighting in eastern Ukraine, saying the U.S. and its allies would not tolerate Moscow's "brazen" violations of the Minsk cease-fire agreement.
Reuters reports that Kerry's remarks were made as he began talks with his British counterpart, Philip Hammond, in London.
"We are talking about additional sanctions, additional efforts," Mr. Kerry said.
"Russia has engaged in an absolutely brazen and cynical process over these last days," he said. "We are talking about additional sanctions, about additional efforts, and I'm confident over the next days people will make it clear that we are not going to play this game ... and be part of this kind of extraordinarily craven behavior."
Last week, the State Department accused the Kremlin of continuing to arm the separatists and of using Russian forces to bombard the contested city of Debaltseve, which ultimately fell into rebel hands days after a cease-fire deal forged in Minsk last week was to have gone into effect.
"With Ukraine's loss of Debaltseve, there is growing concern in Western countries that Mariupol, a port city in eastern Ukraine, could be the separatists' next objective. Mr. Kerry echoed those concerns on Saturday, warning that Russia had been involved in 'land grabbing.'
"The outrage in Western capitals, however, has yet to lead to a package of tough, new measures like economic sanctions or the shipment of defensive arms to the Ukrainian military. And it remains to be seen whether the United States and its allies can forge an effective response to Russia's support of the separatists."
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