TOKYO, April 24 (RIA Novosti) – US President Barack Obama has accused Russia of failing to comply with the Geneva deal reached last week to de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine, the Associated Press reported Thursday.
"So far we have seen them not abide by the spirit or the letter of the agreement in Geneva," Obama told journalists after talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo.
The US leader said if the behavior continues "there will be further consequences and we will ramp up further sanctions." He said Russia could face sanctions within a matter of days, not weeks.
The Japanese prime minister said Tokyo and Washington believe that changing the status quo against the backdrop of coercion and intimidation "would not be condoned."
The sides also reaffirmed the importance of providing Ukraine with assistance, Abe said.
Earlier this week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the coup-imposed Kiev government of failing to comply with the April 17 accord reached in Geneva, calling on the sides in the standoff to refrain from violence.
In violation of the deal, a group of unknown gunmen, allegedly members of the Right Sector far-right group, killed at least three people in an attack on a checkpoint near the eastern Ukrainian city of Slaviansk on Sunday. The Russian Foreign Ministry dismissed the attack as a “provocation” that pointed to Kiev's reluctance to disarm nationalists and extremists.
On Wednesday, the Security Service of Ukraine announced the military operation launched by Ukrainian authorities earlier this month against protesters in eastern Ukraine had again entered an active phase.
Russia condemned the move, urging an immediate withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from southeastern Ukraine and the start of all-inclusive national dialogue to de-escalate the situation in the crisis-hit country.