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Friday, October 28, 2016

Washington (AFP) – Washington is looking at a “broad range of options” for sanctions it could impose on Russia unless it defuses tensions in Ukraine, a senior U.S. official said Monday.

“This is a step we are very prepared to move forward on,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, warning that the U.S. administration is already examining sanctions on Russian individuals and institutions.

“I would say that the steps that we are taking are having an impact,” she said, pointing as an example to an announcement from the G8, which symbolically called itself the G7, that it would skip preparatory meetings this week for a summit in Russia in June.

“If you look at the sharp decline of the Russian ruble, if you look at the Russian stock market today, those are just two examples,” she said.

Psaki said there was no time-frame as yet for when the United States could impose sanctions, but added “we’re looking at a broad range of options, whether that’s individuals, whether that’s institutions, whether that’s officials, those are all under consideration.”

Washington was working “in lockstep” with its European allies on the question of imposing sanctions on Moscow, as Russia appeared to tighten its grip on Ukraine’s southern Crimea peninsula.

“We work closely with them as we look to take steps, whether that’s sanctions, whether that’s economic assistance, whether that’s efforts to support the IMF, whether that’s efforts to hold others accountable,” Psaki told reporters on a phone conference call.

“We will keep them informed of what we’re considering,” she said.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday that sanctions could be considered to try to rein in Russia’s military intervention in Crimea.

And he further warned that Russia could be stripped of its membership of the prestigious Group of Eight most industrialized nations, saying its actions were incompatible with G8 principles.

AFP Photo/Alexey Kravtsov

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  • Sand_Cat

    The more they talk, the less they do, and the less effective what they eventually do – if anything – will be.

  • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

    Sanctions should start with saturation bombing of all Russian military facilities. Then they may be willing to negotiate.

    • Paul Bass

      Yes, let’s start a nuclear war with Russia…

  • charleo1

    Senator McCain blasted President Obama’s, “feckless, foreign policy,” as, “the,” reason for Russia’s troop deployment into the Crimea. That Mr. Obama’s, “weak response in Syria, and policy of appeasement,” had emboldened the Russian President to revive the old Soviet Union, Reagan
    had managed to bury, some 30 years ago. Well, it’s a good thing politics
    stops at the water’s edge, Senator. As I recall, Senator McCain, was going to vote aganist giving the President Congress’s backing to strike Syria. Along with the majority of Republicans in the House. Who seen the red line drawn by the President with respect to Assad’s possible use of chemical weapons. As yet another excellent opportunity to again, deny Obama the support of Congress, this time, on the world stage. It was simply too delicious for them to pass up. Even though, I’m sure, the prospect of more missiles, and bombs raining on yet more Muslims in another Mid-East Country, was to many Republican warmongers, like McCain, and Graham, almost worth breaking ranks, and supporting their President. Almost, being the operative word here. Now, the usual cadre of chicken hawks, Dick Cheney, Joe Scarborough, Bill Crystal, and other gutless wonders, are beating the drums of war. And, of course fretting about the timing of the proposed military budget cuts. Given that the Ruskies are loosing the dogs of war, at the very suggestion we would cut a nickel from the Pentagon. So this is the insanity we’re facing. We cut food aid in the face of growing hunger. Millions are without access to basic healthcare, our infrastructure is crumbling. But for Crimea, we’ll bear any burden? And why would that be? Since most Americans, last week couldn’t find it on a map. But now, it’s as if Hitler has invaded the Sudetenland all over again. And we can’t let Obama repeat the failures of Chamberlin. This Country needs to get a grip.

  • John Kenner

    If we are to develop new and innovative ways of doing things, we must have maximum liberty to make use of as much knowledge as possible.

    • Paul Bass

      This has nothing to do with Russian sanctions…

      • John Kenner

        It does in the sense of today’s liberalism being a neo-marxist ideology that isn’t that much different than its marxist, socialist, and communist ancestors.