The Asian Age
Putin accuses Europe of ignoring Ukraine Army
Moscow/ Rome/ Sydney, Sept. 1: Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Europe on Monday of ignoring the Ukrainian army “directly targeting” civilians in the east of the country.
The Ukrainian military “is directly targeting its fire on residential areas” and “unfortunately many countries, including in Europe, prefer not to notice that,” he said from the eastern Siberian city of Yakutsk in comments broadcast on Russian television. Mr Putin characterised the goal of rebel operations as protecting civilians. “The goal of the rebel forces is to push back ( Ukrainian) armed forces and artillery so they cannot fire on residential areas,” he said.
EU’s newly nominated foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine policy had resulted in economic sanctions that were hurting his own people. Speaking in her first newspaper interview since being tapped for the job on Saturday, Ms Mogherini told Italy’s Corriere della Sera on Monday that sanctions remained “a tool” in brokering what had to be a diplomatic resolution to the Ukraine fighting.
“The point is whether the impact that the sanctions are having on the Russian economy will change the rational behaviour of the leadership,” she said. Australia will toughen its sanctions against Russia so they match those of the European Union, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Monday.
Australia already has some sanctions against Russia, but Mr Abbott said these would be tightened as a result of Moscow’s persistent and deliberate violation of its neighbour’s sovereignty. by a Russian armoured column, took the town of Novoazovsk in the southeast last week and are now threatening the strategic port city of Mariupol 40 km ( 25 miles) to the west.
Their seizure of part of the coastline provided them with a vantage point from which to shell a coast guard patrol boat in the Sea of Azov on Sunday, sinking it — the first action at sea in the conflict.
Two members of the crew are missing while eight were rescued and are being treated for injuries.