Ukraine backs more sanc­tions against Rus­sia in pass­port spat

Cape Breton Post - - WORLD -

MOSCOW — Ukraine’s pres­i­dent called Tues­day for new sanc­tions against Rus­sia over its de­ci­sion to rec­og­nize pass­ports is­sued by sep­a­ratist au­thor­i­ties in east­ern Ukraine, while the Krem­lin ac­cused Ukraine of deny­ing vi­tal doc­u­ments to peo­ple in the rebel re­gions.

The Krem­lin said its de­ci­sion is a ``humanitarian’’ move to help res­i­dents of rebel-held ar­eas in east­ern Ukraine who are suf­fer­ing from a block­ade by Ukrainian na­tion­al­ists, and says that doesn’t amount to rec­og­niz­ing the rebel re­gions.

The United States re­jected the move, call­ing the pass­ports ``il­le­git­i­mate.’’ In Wash­ing­ton, State Depart­ment spokesman Mark Toner said Rus­sia’s ac­tion ``un­der­mines ef­forts to bring peace to east­ern Ukraine.’’ Ukrainian forces have been fight­ing Rus­sia-backed sep­a­ratists in east­ern Ukraine since April 2014, a con­flict that has killed more than 9,800 peo­ple. A 2015 agree­ment on re­solv­ing the con­flict has been widely flouted by both sides.

As the war con­tin­ues, a peace plan crafted by two as­so­ciates of U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and a Ukrainian par­lia­ment mem­ber caused a stir.

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