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Bolton Says U.S. Sanctions To Stay Until Russia Changes Behavior


U.S. national-security adviser John Bolton (left) meets with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Kyiv on August 24.

KYIV -- White House national-security adviser John Bolton says U.S. sanctions against Russia will remain in place until Moscow changes its behavior.

Speaking at an August 24 news conference in Kyiv after talks with President Petro Poroshenko, Bolton said he told the Ukrainian president that Moscow should not interfere in Ukraine's 2019 presidential election.

"We talked about it in several different meetings," Bolton said. "I described some of the things we have said to the Russians about why they shouldn't engage in election meddling in the United States and certainly by interference in Ukraine and elsewhere."

Bolton's visit to Kyiv comes a day after he met in Geneva with Nikolai Patrushev, the secretary of President Vladimir Putin's Security Council, and warned his Russian counterpart that the United States "wouldn't tolerate meddling” in upcoming elections.

Bolton also said on August 24 that Kyiv had made progress in its efforts to join NATO. But he said Ukraine still needs to do more work.

Nord Stream Concerns

Bolton Urges Europe Not To 'Tie Itself' To Russian Gas
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​​Bolton also suggested that the Ukrainian government should consider looking for alternatives to natural gas supplies from Russia.

He said U.S President Donald Trump was concerned about the planned Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would carry Russian gas under the Baltic Sea to Germany.

"That's one of the concerns that President Trump has about Nord Stream 2 -- why Europe would voluntarily tie itself even more to Russian energy supplies." Bolton said.

"I told the prime minister, when Prime Minister [Giuseppe] Conte of Italy visited President Trump recently in the White House," Bolton continued. "They talked about why we thought it was advantageous for Italy to bring the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) into Italy to be able to be supplied by natural gas from Azerbaijan."

"There are other potential sources of natural gas as well," Bolton said.

Washington has threatened to impose sanctions against European allies over the project, which it maintains will increase European dependence on Russian energy.

Putin defended the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline project on August 22 , saying Russia is the most suitable supplier of energy for Europe.

With reporting by RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service and Reuters
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