U.S., Europe weighing sectoral sanctions against Russia


A U.S. sanctions team is in Europe this week discussing possible deeper sectoral penalties against Russia.

New concerns about heavy shelling and fighting around Donetsk and on the road to Mariupol by pro-Russian separatists arise, Victoria Nuland, U.S. assistant secretary of state for European affairs, said.

Another Russian convoy also had crossed the Ukrainian border, she told the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

“Our sanctions team is in Europe this week,” Nuland said, adding that there had been more than 100 violations of the European-brokered ceasefire agreements.

She said it was important that the United States was in line with Europe on additional sanctions that will be imposed on Russia if the ceasefire worked out in Minsk last month is ‘further violated or if there is a further land grab.’

The truce was agreed on Feb. 12 with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Russia’s Vladimir Putin to end the fighting that has killed roughly 6,000 people since April.

In late February Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, stressed the 2014 Minsk agreement was not honoured and added that another package of EU sanctions against Russia on the table

Earlier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Russia that any serious violation of the ceasefire, which she described as fragile, would prompt more sanctions.

 www.belsat.eu/en, following Reuters

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