The United States and the European Union have reached common ground on the question of imposing sanctions against Russia, the New York Times reported Monday.
Western nations want to place new sanctions against Russia this week, which would include penalties against crucial sectors of the Russian economy, the White House said, according to Associated Press. For months, much of Europe evaded involvement in the Russia-Ukraine crisis until the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, which is widely seen as the work of pro-Moscow separatists in Ukraine. The U.S. has also accused Russia of strengthening its military presence on the Ukrainian boarder, and of shipping more weapons to the rebels.
President Barack Obama, along with the leaders of Britain, Germany, France and Italy discussed the crisis during a video teleconference on Monday, and the countries reportedly settled on a deal to target Russia’s energy, arms and financial sectors. The EU is also considering placing penalties against anyone close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, since it is believed he is playing a large role in destabilizing Ukraine, AP reported.
“It’s precisely because we’ve not yet seen a strategic turn from Putin that we believe it’s absolutely essential to take additional measures, and that’s what the Europeans and the United States intend to do this week,” Tony Blinken, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, said, according to AP. “We’ve seen a significant re-buildup of Russian forces along the border, potentially positioning Russia for a so-called humanitarian or peacekeeping intervention in Ukraine.”
The sanctions are expected to be finalized Tuesday.
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