Ukraine seeks more sanc­tions on Rus­sia

Otago Daily Times - - WEEKEND WORLD -

MI­LAN: Ukraine urged a gath­er­ing of dozens of for­eign min­is­ters yesterday to in­crease sanc­tions against Rus­sia, ac­cus­ing Moscow of ramp­ing up ag­gres­sion against Kiev and sow­ing ‘‘in­sta­bil­ity and in­se­cu­rity’’ across the West.

Speak­ing at a meet­ing of the Or­gan­i­sa­tion for Se­cu­rity and Co­op­er­a­tion in Europe (Osce), the for­eign minister of Ukraine de­nounced the re­cent seizure of three Ukrainian naval ves­sels and their crew by Rus­sian forces off Crimea, say­ ing it rep­re­sented an­other as­sault on in­ter­na­tional law.

‘‘It is a mat­ter of ur­gency to pro­vide a prompt and con­sol­i­dated in­ter­na­tional re­sponse to this act of ag­gres­sion. Dec­la­ra­tions are not enough. There must be ac­tion,’’ Pavlo Klimkin told the an­nual gath­er­ing of Osce min­is­ters.

‘‘We must raise the cost for Rus­sia with com­pre­hen­sive and tai­lored sanc­tions . . . There can be no busi­ness as usual.’’

The 57­na­tion Osce, a se­cu­rity and hu­man rights watch­ dog, has been rat­tled by the mil­i­tary and diplo­matic stand­off be­tween Rus­sia and Ukraine, both of whom are mem­ber states.

But Rus­sian For­eign Minister Sergei Lavrov ap­peared un­touched by the crit­i­cism that faced him in Mi­lan, pin­ning the blame for years of es­ca­lat­ing ten­sions with Kiev on Ukraine and its al­lies.

‘‘Striv­ing for dom­i­nance, a small group of coun­tries uses black­mail, pres­sure and threats,’’ Lavrov told the gath­er­ing in a con­fer­ence cen­tre in Italy’s fi­nan­cial cap­i­tal.

‘‘Kiev [is] free from any pun­ish­ment, shielded by its West­ern spon­sors, who jus­tify all its out­ra­geous ac­tions,’’ he said.

The United States and the Euro­pean Union have im­posed sanc­tions on Rus­sia since 2014, when Moscow an­nexed Crimea, pre­vi­ously Ukrainian ter­ri­tory.

Fight­ing be­tween Ukraine and Moscow­backed sep­a­ratists in the Don­bass re­gion of east­ern Ukraine has killed more than 10,000 peo­ple. — Reuters

PHOTO: REUTERS

On a mis­sion . . . Ukrainian para­troop­ers pre­pare to board mil­i­tary planes be­fore de­part­ing to the east­ern re­gions of the coun­try at an air force base near Zhy­to­myr, Ukraine, yesterday.

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