Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Simon Serfaty, US foreign policy specialist

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'It's a War, Stupid!'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

French PM calls on ECB to go further to help economy

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'I love the Socialists'

Read more

WEB NEWS

Ukraine: Web users call for international assistance

Read more

WEB NEWS

France: Fighting political corruption with transparency

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

South Africa: Four men found guilty of shooting Rwandan exile

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - August 29th, 2014

Read more

  • Ukrainian forces retreat from Luhansk airport after clashes

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces free Armeli in biggest victory over IS militants since June

    Read more

  • Anti-government protesters storm Pakistan's state TV

    Read more

  • PSG trounce Saint-Etienne 5-0 with Ibrahimovic hat trick

    Read more

  • Putin calls for talks on 'statehood' for east Ukraine

    Read more

  • Rescue efforts under way after French apartment block blast

    Read more

  • Poland marks 75 years since German invasion of WWII

    Read more

  • Israel appropriates large tracts of West Bank land

    Read more

  • Tension rises in Hong Kong as Beijing rejects open elections

    Read more

  • French police stop 'teenage jihadist' from flying to Syria

    Read more

  • Kidnapped Yazidi women 'sold to Islamists' in Syria

    Read more

  • Confusion reigns after Lesotho 'coup'

    Read more

  • French PM vows to safeguard 35-hour work week

    Read more

  • Inside Novoazovsk – the pro-Russians' latest conquest

    Read more

  • Filipino UN troops escape Islamists in Golan Heights

    Read more

Europe

US pushes for new Russia sanctions ahead of EU talks

© Afp

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-07-16

US President Barack Obama is considering a raft of unilateral measures targeting the Russian economy that could be implemented if EU leaders meeting in Brussels on Wednesday do not agree on new sanctions against Moscow, US officials said.

But the White House has not yet decided on any steps that would supercede its stated desire to act in concert with Europe on levying new sanctions against Russia for its "destabilising" actions in Ukraine, a senior official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Intense discussions are continuing with US allies and Washington would prefer to move in coordination with Europe on the new measures, which would target sectors of the Russian economy as well as the defense industry.

An EU source said a new round of sanctions was looking "very possible" on the eve of the leaders summit on Wednesday.

A draft communiqué released ahead of the talks said Brussels will ask the European Investment Bank to suspend financing for new Russian public-sector projects as well as projects financed through the London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

EU nations will also seek to broaden the scope of asset freezes to target companies and other Russian organisations that undermine Ukraine's sovereignty, the draft said.

The European measures would likely fall short, however, of the "sectoral sanctions" floated earlier by the US that were designed to hammer the Russian economy.

There have been clear signs this week that Washington is losing patience and that it wants Europe to move more quickly on sanctions.

The State Department issued a fact sheet on Monday detailing what it said were Russia's continuing efforts to destabilise Ukraine and its support for the pro-Moscow separatists in the east.

Russia falls short

Washington and Brussels unveiled joint measures targeting President Vladimir Putin's "cronies" as well as Russian officials involved in Ukraine policy in April.

World leaders warned of further sanctions in May as the Group of Seven (G7) met without a Russian leader for the first time since the 1990s. The grouping is known as the G8 when Russia participates.

Obama has spent recent weeks building support among US allies for a new round of sanctions on Moscow, making it clear he believes that Russia has not yet met the conditions laid out by G7 leaders last month to stop "destabilising" Ukraine. Those conditions required Russia to secure the border to prevent heavy weapons and material from being sent to separatist groups in eastern Ukraine.

Obama on Tuesday telephoned German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss the crisis, the White House said.

"The leaders agreed that, to date, neither the United States nor Germany has seen Russia fulfill these required actions," the White House said in statement after the talks.

The West also wants Putin to work with the Organization of Security and Co-operation in Europe on monitoring the border and to use his influence with separatists to convince them to lay down their arms.

"The longer that this goes on, the more difficult it will be for us to put Ukraine on the stable, sound footing – both politically and economically – that we would like to see them be on," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Tuesday.

Earnest declined to specify the targets or timeline for the new sanctions, as US officials sought to prevent Russian officials from shielding assets or moving money out of the reach of sanctions.

Vice President Joe Biden has made repeated telephone calls to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who has presided over a military operation to seize back territory in eastern Ukraine from separatists.

Biden on Tuesday "told President Poroshenko that the United States was engaging with European leaders to discuss the imposition of costs on Russia for its continued escalation of the conflict", a White House statement said.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

 

Date created : 2014-07-16

  • RUSSIA - UKRAINE

    Kremlin mulls 'retaliatory strikes' after death of Russian civilian

    Read more

  • DIPLOMACY - G7

    G7 warns Russia of further sanctions over Ukraine

    Read more

  • USA - RUSSIA

    US and Russia engage in tit-for-tat sanctions

    Read more

COMMENT(S)