Kerry Threatens More Sanctions Against Russia and Says It Has Not Shown Any Desire to End the Conflict

In Washington, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry demanded that Russia encourage separatists to accept a cease-fire but signaled that it is already too late for Russia to avoid the new rounds of sanctions from the U.S. and Europe.

Mr. Kerry, speaking in ajoint news conference with Ukrainian Foreign Minister PavloKlimkin, said Russia has left the world "with no choice" but toimpose further sanctions.

The moveis the most significant political step yet taken by the EU againstRussia since Moscow's annexation of Crimea in March.

The EUhas so far targeted dozens of Russian and pro-Russian separatistsin Ukraine with an asset freeze and travel ban as well as hittingsome Crimea-based companies. The bloc also has frozen freshfinancing for some EU projects in Russia. On Monday, in a moveaimed at hitting people and companies with close ties to theKremlin, the EU also said it would target people who have beenactively supporting the Russian government's actions inUkraine.

Read also: European Union Agrred on Third Tier Sanction AgainstRussia

Mr. Kerrysaid he spoke with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov onTuesday morning to demand that Russian President Vladimir Putinwield influence on Russian-backed separatists to lay down theirarms to avoid deeper isolation. While Russia has said it hopes tohelp de-escalate the situation in Ukraine, Mr. Kerry said Russia'sactions haven't shown "a shred of evidence" that Russia has alegitimate desire to do so.

Mr. Klimkin saidreaching a cease-fire with the rebels would be "vital" and must bebilateral. Mr. Kerry repeated U.S. charges that evidence provesRussia has fired at Ukrainian armed forces, and Mr. Klimkin deniedreports that Ukrainians had fired back at Russia.

Источник: https://en.censor.net.ua/n295907