US raises pressure on Russian over Ukraine deal

World, April 19, (IANS): The United States has raised the pressure on Russia, seeking compliance of a four-way agreement on Ukraine reached in Geneva this week and warning of further sanctions if Moscow fails to deliver on its commitments.

US raises pressure on Russian over Ukraine deal

US raises pressure on Russian over Ukraine deal

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine have refused to leave official buildings despite the Geneva deal

The warning came as the deal struck between the US, European Union, Ukraine and Russia appeared to fall as Moscow-backed rebels in the former Soviet republic refused to budge.

“I do think over the coming days, as I have said, we will have the opportunity to see what Russia can do and will do to uphold its end of that agreement,” the US National Security Adviser Susan Rice told reporters yesterday.

“We expect, and we will be watching whether Russia does or does not uphold its responsibility to use its very considerable influence to restrain and withdraw those irregular militia from the buildings and spaces that they have occupied,” she said.

“We will look to see what Russia says, what it does, and whether it supports another critical aspect of the agreement, which was the agreement that the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) will send in monitors to those towns where they’re most needed to help to facilitate a peaceful resolution of these standoffs,” Rice said.

Earlier, Russia reacted angrily to previous US warnings, including from President Barack Obama, that it could face more sanctions if it did not live up to the deal.

“If we do not see action commensurate with the commitments that Russia has made yesterday in Geneva, which we all welcome, then obviously we have been very clear that we and our European partners remain ready to impose additional costs on Russia for failing to adhere to its obligations,” the state department official said.

Noting that the Obama Administration has made its expectations clear to Russia, Rice said the US will be looking to see in the coming days whether the agreement that was reached is, in fact, implemented. It will be obvious as events unfold, she said.

Rice said Obama has authorities available to him to impose sanctions that can escalate in breadth and severity according to, or in response to actions taken by Russia, or other individuals, entities, groups that might take action that undermine Ukraine’s sovereignty or territorial integrity.

“Our very clear explanation of the executive orders the President signed says that we now have the flexibility essentially to escalate the consequences to Russia as Russia escalates,” she said.

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