US Threatens More Sanctions against Russia

Washington, April 23 (QNA) – The United States has warned again of
further sanctions against Russia if it does not de-escalate tensions
in Ukraine.

In a phone call with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, US
secretary of State John Kerry expressed “deep concern over the lack
of positive Russian steps”.

Kerry “urged Russia to tone down escalatory rhetoric, engage
diplomatically in the east… and issue public statements calling for
those occupying buildings to disarm,” according to a senior State
Department official.

“Secretary Kerry also reiterated that the absence of measurable
progress on implementing the Geneva agreement will result in
increased sanctions on Russia,” the official said.

The warning came after US Vice-President Joe Biden met Ukraine’s new
leaders in Kiev, and called on Russia to “stop talking and start
acting” to defuse the Ukraine crisis.
The US pledged to provide an additional $50 million for political
and economic reforms in Ukraine, including $11 million to help run
the presidential election due on 25 May.
In another US move, Washington is sending 600 troops to take part in
NATO exercises in the three Baltic states and Poland.

A defense department spokesman said the decision was designed to
show a strong commitment to the alliance as events unfolded in
Ukraine. (QNA)

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