U.S. and Western Europe - back down from sanction threats

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Reality Check
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U.S. and Western Europe - back down from sanction threats

Postby Reality Check » Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:56 pm

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http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/14/us-ukraine-crisis-eu-idUSBREA3D0SO20140414
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Over the last week, and as recently as Sunday morning, U.S. and western European politicians were talking up deterrent effect of "sector sanctions" on Russia.
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If Russia escalated the Ukraine crisis with more military action such as in Crimea, the west would have "no choice" but to impose crippling "Sector Sanctions" on entire sections of the Russian economy.
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Late yesterday, Sunday, those talking points began to change. The U.S. and Europe announced to the world at a public U.N. Security council meeting that Russia had just started using it's military inside additional parts of Ukraine, just like Russia did in Crimea in March, but, at the same time the U.S. and Europe backed away from any suggestion that "sector sanctions" were imminent.
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Today, Monday, the EU ministers met, and decided NO sanctions immediately, and only more individual person sanctions would be "discussed" LATER ( at an emergency sanctions meeting next week if such a meeting was needed after the international conference on the method of break up of Ukraine on Thursday ).
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EU ministers meeting - today, Monday, April 14th, 2014 wrote:
At a meeting in Luxembourg, several EU foreign ministers threatened Moscow with new sanctions over its actions in eastern Ukraine, although some said diplomacy should be given time before firm decisions are taken.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague, arriving for the meeting in Luxembourg, said there could be no doubt that Moscow was behind the destabilization of eastern Ukraine.

"I don't think denials of Russian involvement have a shred of credibility," Hague told reporters, adding that the EU now needed to discuss adding more people to a list of 33 Russian and Ukrainian officials targeted by EU asset freezes and travel bans over the Ukraine crisis.

The European Union could hold an emergency summit next week to impose further sanctions against Russia if there is no breakthrough at talks with Ukraine scheduled for Thursday in Geneva, France's foreign minister said on Monday.

France's Laurent Fabius said he hoped "fundamental questions" about Ukraine ( how to break up Ukraine as Russia is demanding ) would be tackled at Thursday's meeting involving Russia, Ukraine, the United States and the EU.

"If it is necessary, there may be a meeting of heads of state and government next week at European level, which may adopt new sanctions," he told reporters.

"The goal is to show firmness while keeping a dialogue open," he said.

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said the EU must now agree how the list ( of individuals subject to sanctions ) could be expanded.

"The EU has to make it clear to Russia what are the consequences of any possible future actions in eastern Ukraine," he said. "I expect a very specific signal when we can expect sanctions if Russia takes further steps."

But other governments were more cautious on sanctions, underscoring concerns in parts of Europe about antagonizing a power with an energy stranglehold over the bloc, and put their faith in Thursday's talks.

Germany said the Geneva meeting could help calm tensions even though the option of sanctions remained on the table. ( Germany is hoping for another reset in Russian relations after the issue of how to break up Ukraine is hammered out at Thursday's meeting.).


Russia has again received a pass on all actions Russia has taken to date, including, according to the U.S. and European ambassadors to the U.N., armed intervention by Russian armed forces in additional parts of the country of Ukraine, over the last three (3) days.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/14/us-ukraine-crisis-eu-idUSBREA3D0SO20140414

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