Kerry warns Russia over Ukraine, urges against 'tit-for-tat' moves

5th November 2014, Comments 0 comments

US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday warned Russia that sanctions pressure could be intensified over the Ukraine crisis but urged Kiev not to get drawn into "tit-for-tat" measures.

Speaking to reporters in Paris after holding talks with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, Kerry said "the choice is Russia's" as to whether to implement the Minsk agreement that was supposed to bring peace to Ukraine's restive east.

"The president and I have repeatedy said that if the Minsk agreement is fully implemented, sanctions can be rolled back and if it isn't, pressure will only increase," said Kerry.

Kerry said he had spoken to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko earlier and discussed the "need to continue to take the high road" in terms of sticking to the ceasefire.

It was important "not to fall into the possibility invited by measures taken by Russia to engage in a tit-for-tat process," added the diplomat.

The ceasefire in Ukraine was hanging by a thread after Poroshenko accused pro-Russian rebels of endangering the peace process and ordered troops back to cities in the east of the country ravaged by months of unrest.

Authorities in Kiev also announced they were cutting off central government funds to the rebel-held Donetsk and Lugansk regions, so as not to fund "terrorists.

"On the ground, authorities said there had been "intensified" shooting incidents with two soldiers killed and nine wounded in the past 24 hours.


© 2014 AFP

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