Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has canceled his June visit to St Petersburg in a move that could signal Israel’s change of stance on Crimea.
According to Haaretz, Netanyahu was supposed to attend a concert together with the Russian president but changed his mind over the Ukraine crisis.
Previously, says the paper, Israel sought to be neutral, which was a cause for concern in Washington. In particular, Tel Aviv did not take part in the UN General Assembly vote on the Ukraine resolution, citing a strike by diplomats.
Today’s news appears to reflect a change in attitude, possibly in view of excessive pressure from the US.
Earlier, Washington warned Russia of further sanctions if Moscow does not “take steps to de-escalate in eastern Ukraine”.
According to the official Twitter account of the State Department, John Kerry “expressed strong concern that attacks today by militias in Ukraine were orchestrated.”
Militants are equipped with Russian weapons and the same uniforms as those worn by Russian forces that invaded Crimea, read the statement.
Earlier, the US and the EU have introduced asset freezes and travel bans on a number of individuals and have vowed further action if Russia moved further into eastern Ukraine.
Pursuant to Executive Order 13661 signed by President Obama on March 16, 2014, the US Treasury will freeze any of assets belonging to 20 Russian individuals and one bank within U.S. jurisdiction and prohibit any transactions with them.
Among them are 16 officials, including Viktor Ozerov, Vladimir Dzhabarov, Evgeny Bushmin, Nikolai Ryzhkov, Sergey Zheleznyak, Sergey Mironov, Aleksandr Totoonov, Oleg Panteleev, Sergey Naryshkin, Viktor Ivanov, Igor Sergun, Sergei Ivanov, AlexeyGromov, Andrey Fursenko, Vladimir Yakunin, and Vladimir Kozhin. Also on the list are four “members of the inner circle”, including Gennady Timchenko, Arkady Rotenberg, Boris Rotenberg, and Yury Kovalchuk.
Author: Mikhail Vesely