Warning that more sanctions against Russia were “teed up”, US President Barack Obama said on Thursday that Moscow was not abiding by a deal over Ukraine struck in Geneva that called for disarming of the illegal armed groups.
Speaking in a joint press conference with Japan PM Shinzo Abe, Obama said that Russia was expected to follow a “wiser course” of action after Geneva deal was signed by the US, the EU, Russian and Ukraine, however, “So far at least we have seen them not abide by the spirit or the letter of the agreement in Geneva”.
“Instead we continue to see malicious, armed men taking over buildings, harassing folks who are disagreeing with them, destabilising the region and we haven’t seen Russia step out and discouraging it,” Obama said in first comments over Russia-Ukraine crisis after Geneva pact.
“What I am saying is we have prepared for the possibility of applying additional sanctions,” Obama added.
The crisis in eastern Ukrainian cities, where pro-Russian armed men have seized buildings, is a fresh bone of contention between the US and Russia and the East-West ties are in the most embittered phase since the Cold War phase.
The US has time and again threatened more sanctions on Russia in wake of Ukraine crisis which has aggravated after Russian takeover of Crimea.
However, the President added with caution that mere imposing sanctions may not “change Mr Putin’s calculus” in Ukraine.
Obama’s comments came as Russia yesterday issued a bold retort saying it will retaliate if atacked.