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US readies unilateral sanctions on Russia

A pro-Russian militant stands guard at a checkpoint in Maryinka, Ukraine, 25 kilometers west of Donetsk, on July 15, 2014The United States signaled Tuesday it could go it alone on toughening sanctions on Russia if Europe does not agree to increase pain for Moscow over its policies in Ukraine. A raft of unilateral measures have been prepared that President Barack Obama could use to land new blows on the Russian economy, if European officials meeting in Brussels on Wednesday do not decide to take similar steps, a senior US official told AFP. Intense discussions are continuing with US allies and Washington would clearly prefer to move in coordination with Europe on measures that could target sectors of the Russian economy and defense industry — because joint action would likely be most effective.

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