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US threatens new sanctions on Russia as Ukraine deadline looms

A pro-Russian protester guards a barricade outside the regional state administration building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk on April 10, 2014Donetsk (Ukraine) (AFP) – US President Barack Obama threatened fresh sanctions against Moscow if it escalates the crisis over Ukraine, as pro-Russia separatists faced a Friday deadline from Kiev to lay down their arms. The president stressed that the United States, the European Union and other global partners must “be prepared to meet further Russian escalation with additional sanctions,” the White House said in a statement, after Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke by phone on Thursday. The United States also delivered the warning to Russia at World Bank/IMF meetings in Washington, amid worries that a spiralling Ukraine crisis could hurt the world economy. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew told his Russian counterpart Finance Minister Anton Siluanov that in addition to the sanctions that followed Russia’s annexation of Crimea last month, “the United States is prepared to impose additional significant sanctions on Russia if it continues to escalate the situation in Ukraine,” the Treasury said.

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