Thursday, October 23, 2014


Russia

Russia Chides EU, U.S., Says Sanctions Endanger Security Cooperation

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei LavrovRussian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

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The Russian Foreign Ministry says additional sanctions imposed by the European Union over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis put at risk cooperation over security issues.

"The additional sanction list is direct evidence that the EU countries have set a course for fully phasing out cooperation with Russia over the issues of international and regional security. This includes the fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, organized  crime, and other new challenges and dangers," a statement said.

"We are sure the decisions will be greeted enthusiastically by international terrorists," the ministry also said.

The European Union has added 15 people and 18 entities to its sanctions list. The additional sanctions were published in the EU's Official Journal earlier on July 26 and went into effect immediately.

Among the individuals subject to travel bans and asset freezes were Mikhail Fradkov, the director of Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service, and Aleksandr Bortnikov, the head of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB). 

The Moscow-appointed Chechen leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, was also among individuals targeted.

The self-proclaimed "people's republics" of Donetsk and Luhansk, as well as other illegal armed separatist groups, were included in the list of 18 entities, and Pavel Gubarev, the self-styled governor of the "People's Republic of Donetsk," was also named.

The EU list of sanctions now has 87 individuals and 20 entities in Ukraine and Russia. 

The EU said on July 25 it is drafting legislation that could be used to implement economic sanctions against Russia.

Diplomats said EU ambassadors have agreed in principle to the sanctions, which would target Russia's access to capital markets, its defense sector, and its imports of dual-use goods and sensitive technologies. 

The EU has so far been reluctant to impose economic sanctions against Russia amid fears of repercussions for its own economy. 

The additional EU sanctions come after 298 people were killed when a Malaysian airliner was shot down in eastern Ukraine, allegedly by Russia-backed separatists.

Lashing Out At Washington

The Russian Foreign Ministry later on July 26 accused Washington of waging a "relentless slander campaign" against Russia over Ukraine.

The U.S. administration is "more and more guided by blatant lies" in its foreign policy, the ministry said in a statement.

It was responding to the White House accusation that Moscow was "culpable" in the downing of a Malaysian passenger plane in eastern Ukraine, allegedly by Russia-backed separatists.

The Foreign Ministry said Washington has failed to provide any proof to back its claims.
 
It also says that by continuing "to push Kyiv into the forceful repression of the discontent of [Ukraine's] Russian-speaking population," the U.S. administration has "some responsibility for the internal conflict in Ukraine and its severe consequences."

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With reporting by Reuters, AFP, and Interfax

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