US vows to slap economic sanctions against Russia if Moscow doesn’t stop what they call fuelling tension in eastern Ukraine, US Secretary of State pledged Tuesday.
John Kerry accused Russia of using a network of ‘paid operatives’ to replay the Crimean scenario.
“So Russia has a choice: to work with the international community to help build an independent Ukraine that could be a bridge between East and West not the object of a tug of war, that could meet the hopes and aspiration of all Ukrainians; or they could face greater isolation and pay the cost for their failure to see that the world is not a zero-sum game,” he told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Tuesday.
Kerry promised to introduce energy, mining and banking sanctions that could prove a serious blow to the Russian economy, already slowing down amid lack of structural reforms and poor investment climate.
Earlier, Russia-IC reported that the Russian-US presidential commission that facilitated cooperation between the two countries was dismantled as part of the US sanctions regime introduced against Moscow.
Set up in the framework of the reset policy, the commission was believed to be a key force behind many breakthrough steps. The commission coordinated the joint work of 20 subcommittees on a broad spectrum of issues.
The Kremlin said it was disappointed to see it happen but would not appeal to the US administration to resume its operation.
Russia has sparked a wave of criticism after it incorporated Crimea into its territory following a referendum on the peninsula with a large ethnic Russian population.
The US and the EU imposed a raft of sanctions on Russian officials and individuals with close ties to the Kremlin.
The US also put space and military cooperation on hold, followed by some of its NATO allies, including the UK.
Author: Mikhail Vesely