NEW YORK, July 29 (RIA Novosti) – The United States and the European Union are close to imposing new sanctions on Russia over its support for separatists in eastern Ukraine, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday.
“We and our European partners will take additional measures and impose wider sanctions on key sections of the Russian economy if that is what we must do. We hope that it will not be necessary and if Russia continues to go down this path, Russia will leave the international community with no choice,” Kerry told reporters in Washington.
“What is unfolding in Ukraine has already gone on for far too long. It is well past time for the violence to stop and for the people of Ukraine to begin the process of rebuilding their country, and rebuilding it in a way that can have a relationship with Russia, with the West.”
Kerry said the much-anticipated new sanctions would be announced “today or tomorrow”.
He spoke during a joint press conference with his Ukrainian counterpart, Pavlo Klimkin. The US will provide about $7 million to help rebuild devastated parts of eastern Ukraine and the Congress may provide more funds in business development schemes, Kerry added.
Western nations have imposed targeted sanctions on Russian individuals and firms over its alleged backing of independence supporters in eastern Ukraine, but have yet failed to adopt tougher measures. Moscow denies materially supporting militia and says Western sanctions are counter-productive.