вторник, 29 июля 2014 г.

U.S. and Europe Set to Toughen Russia Sanctions

Вырезка из газеты "Нью-Йорк таймс"

FRANKFURT — The United States and Europe put aside their differences and agreed Monday to sharply escalate economic sanctions against Russia amid worries that Moscow is stepping up its intervention in Ukraine and may be setting the stage for an outright invasion.

After months in which European leaders resisted going as far as the Americans, the two sides settled on a package of measures that would target Russia’s financial, energy and military sectors. In some cases, the Europeans may actually leapfrog beyond what the United States has done, forcing Washington to catch up.

The collaboration suggested a hardening resolve among the allies after the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine this month. Not only has Moscow not backed down, as some hoped it might, but American, European and Ukrainian officials said Russia had actually accelerated its involvement in Ukraine’s civil war with pro-Russian separatists.

Officials Pull Back From Crash Site as the Army Puts Pressure on Rebels JULY 28, 2014

Sergey V. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, said that while Moscow
clearly did not welcome the measures,
it had no plans to impose sanctions on Europe in response.

Credit Kirill Kudryavtsev/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

A woman walks by an apartment complex in Snizhne, Ukraine, that was hit by a rocket attack on July 15.Enmity and Civilian Toll Rise in Ukraine While Attention Is DivertedJULY 28, 2014
The agreement came during an unusual five-way videoconference involving President Obama and his counterparts from Britain, France, Germany and Italy in advance of a European Union meeting on Tuesday to consider new sanctions on Russia. If the Europeans announce their new measures as expected, Obama administration officials said they planned to follow with their own later in the day or on Wednesday.

“We expect the European Union to take significant additional steps this week, including in key sectors of the Russian economy,” said Antony J. Blinken, Mr. Obama’s deputy national security adviser. “In turn, and in full coordination with Europe, the United States will implement additional measures itself. Our purpose here again is not to punish Russia but to make clear that it must cease its support for the separatists and stop destabilizing Ukraine.”

American officials said Monday that an overt Russian invasion of Ukraine, although still unlikely, appeared more possible than it did just weeks ago. “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,” Mr. Blinken said.

While criticized at home as not being tough enough on Russia, Mr. Obama has been pressing Europe to stand firmer against Moscow. With their economies far more dependent on energy-rich Russia, the Europeans have until now imposed mainly modest sanctions focused on individuals rather than measures intended to damage the Russian economy. On Monday, they agreed to target a handful more individuals.

But the package to be finalized Tuesday would go much further, matching and in some cases exceeding the actions Mr. Obama took on his own this month in blocking access to medium- and long-term American capital markets for some of Russia’s largest and most global banking and energy companies.

The Europeans plan to impose similar capital-market restrictions on Russian state-owned banks as well as an embargo on future sales of arms and to restrict the sale of equipment that can be used for both civilian and military purposes, according to officials briefed on the discussions. They are also considering limits on technology sales to Russia’s oil industry.

Under their own procedures, the Europeans cannot target individual Russian banks the way the Obama administration has, so the capital-market measures will affect all banks that are majority-owned by the Russian state. The Americans would then try to catch up by targeting more Russian banks. Although there would be some gaps between the two moves, officials said they would work to make sure Russia could not slip through them.

American officials were heartened by the agreement, saying it would frustrate efforts by President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia to drive a wedge between the United States and its allies. The key to the agreement, they said, was Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, who dropped her past reluctance and pressed for more assertive moves, which forced the French to go along, and that then forced the Italians to give in.

Тем временем на Украине война идет полным ходом.

Ukrainian Forces Push Into Rebel Areas

Fighting intensified around the wreckage site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, as Ukrainian forces advanced into some rebel-held areas. Ukrainian defense officials said that government troops had retaken 10 cities last week, but none were large population centers. The military has been trying to cut Donetsk off from the east, in order to isolate it from the flow of weapons and fighters coming from Russia. View full graphic »

Sources: Ukrainian Council of National Security and Defense; Pro-Russian separatist leaders




along border

Area Where

Military Forces

Have Retaken

Control since

June 18



Area of

Rebel Activity

July 28

Fighting near

Flight 17

wreckage site




Border controlled

by rebels

Some sites

of fighting

July 28



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