17 January 2018, Wednesday, 2:12

US and France: Putin must pay


The two countries threaten to impose new sanctions on Russia.

The United States and France think Russia should take additional steps to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine's southeast, otherwise it will face further sanctions, the White House said on Monday.

Presidents Barack Obama and Francois Hollande agreed during a phone conversation that Russia should pay further costs if it does not take urgent measures to de-escalate tensions in Ukraine.

The press service of the French president says Obama and Hollande called on Russia to press representatives of Ukraine's southeast to accept dialogue with Kyiv, and reinforce its control on the Russia-Ukrainian border.

The press releases do not specify if the presidents meant expansion of the “phase two” sanctions against Russia or launching the third phase that may hit several sectors of Russia's economy in addition to certain individuals and companies. In particular, sectoral sanctions on Russian companies in energy and defence sectors may be introduced, Interfax reports.

The EU ambassadors were reported to have a meeting on July 7 to discuss a possible expansion of sanctions on Russia.

The diplomats discussed the situation in the context of the conditions set by the EU leaders at a meeting of the European Council on June 27 and agreed in principle to toughen the restrictive measures.

The list of persons, who can be banned from entering the EU and whose assets may be frozen, is expected to be discussed on July 9.

The EU earlier imposed visa and asset sanctions in two phases on a number of Russian officials and companies. The step was caused by the annexation of Crimea by Russia and the escalation of the conflict between militants in the east of the country and the central authorities. Besides the European Union, the sanctions were introduced by the US and Canada.

Photo: Vedomosti