US will ‘deepen, broaden’ sanctions against Russia: State Department

The US is preparing to “deepen and broaden” the sanctions it has imposed on Russia over what it calls Moscow’s intervention in Ukraine’s ongoing crisis.

US State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said Tuesday Washington will make its judgment on whether to impose new sanctions on the basis of what will happen in Ukraine in the next few days.

“The United States is finalizing measures to both deepen and broaden our sanctions across Russia’s financial, energy and defense sectors,” Harf told reporters.

“We are finalizing these packages, but we are going to make decisions based on what’s happening on the ground in the next few days,” she added.

Harf acknowledged that a ceasefire agreed last week by Kiev authorities and pro-Russian forces in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions is “mostly holding.”

Earlier in the week, the European Union formally adopted new sanctions on Russia, but delayed their implementation to assess the ceasefire.

On Tuesday, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird threatened imposing more sanctions against Russia in case the ceasefire is not continued.

The West and Russia have been at loggerheads over the political situation in Ukraine after pro-Western forces ousted the country’s president Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014.

Several Western countries have already imposed several rounds of sanctions on Russia, including visa bans and asset freezes.

Moscow has long denied involvement in Ukraine’s crisis and has warned of an asymmetrical response if more sanctions are implemented. In August, Russia introduced a year-long ban on certain food imports from the European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia and Norway.

By Press TV

 

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