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Bolton says US sanctions to stay until Russia changes behaviour

Genya Savilov / AFP | Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (R) shakes hand with US National Security Advisor John Bolton (L) during a military parade in Kiev on August 24, 2018, to celebrate the Independence Day.

US President Donald Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton said on Friday that US sanctions against Russia would remain in place until Moscow changes its behaviour.

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Washington has imposed economic sanctions against Russia over its alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election. Moscow denies the allegations.

“The sanctions remain in force and will remain in force until the required change in Russian behaviour,” Bolton told a news conference in Kiev.

Bolton, who held talks earlier on Friday with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, also said that Kiev had made progress in its efforts to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), but still had work to do.

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“A lot depends on Ukraine fulfilling the requirements necessary to meet all of the military and political tests to be a NATO member,” Bolton said.

“I would say progress is being made but there is still more to accomplish,” he added.

Russia strongly opposes NATO expansion towards its western borders and in 2014 annexed Crimea from Ukraine after Viktor Yanukovich, Ukraine’s Russia-friendly president, was toppled in a popular revolution.

Bolton said it was important to resolve the Ukraine crisis and that it would be dangerous to leave the situation as it was in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, where Moscow has backed separatists in their conflict with Kiev.

Bolton added he had told Poroshenko that Moscow should not meddle in Ukraine’s presidential vote next year.

“President Poroshenko and I agreed that we will look at steps that the United States and Ukraine could take to look at election meddling here,” he said.

(REUTERS)

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