The EU already imposed sanctions on Russia in March over its stealth invasion and annexation of Crimea, but those lacked teeth. More sanctions are ready, but some EU members are displaying a strong reluctance to punishing the Kremlin further unless the Russian overtly invade Ukraine.
This map from Reuters shows the basic breakdown:
DONETSK, Ukraine — Russia's foreign minister warned Wednesday that attacks on Russian citizens or interests in Ukraine would bring a firm response and drew a comparison to the circumstances that opened the war with Georgia in 2008.
BRUSSELS — Russia has not fulfilled its part of an international agreement to defuse tension in Ukraine and Washington will only wait "days" more for the accord to be implemented, a senior U.S. official said on Wednesday.
WASHINGTON — The U.S. State Department on Wednesday dismissed comments by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov suggesting that the United States was behind the political unrest in Ukraine as "ludicrous."
DONETSK/SLAVIANSK, Ukraine — One is a dapper former croupier and promoter of Ponzi scams run by "Russia's Bernie Madoff"; the other is a burly Soviet Navy veteran turned soap factory boss, with a shifting gaze and a glint of gold teeth.
More than $3 billion is needed to overhaul the Soviet-era natural gas transit network in Ukraine, Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuri Prodan said Wednesday.
SLOVYANSK, Ukraine — While Russia and the United States traded warnings and accusations over developments Wednesday in Ukraine, the promised Ukrainian military effort to reassert control over the restive eastern part of the country got off to a halting start, and the international agreement reached last week in Geneva that was meant to defuse the crisis in the country frayed even further.
Russian President Vladimir Putin's approach to pro-Russian militants destabilizing southern and eastern Ukraine differs from his strategy on Crimea, where Russian forces took a more active role in breaking away the peninsula from Kyiv. Massing Russian soldiers along the Ukrainian border mirrors the troop build-up that preceded Moscow's annexation of the Crimean peninsula.
Russia's foreign minister on April 23 promised a firm response if its citizens or interests come under attack in Ukraine — a vow that came after Ukraine announced a renewal of its "anti-terror" campaign against those occupying buildings in its troubled east.
Simon Ostrovsky, a journalist for the Brooklyn-based Vice News, has been held captive since April 22, a spokeswoman for pro-Russia insurgents in Slovyansk, Ukraine, has confirmed. Vyacheslav Ponomarev, the self-described mayor of Slovyansk, said there are no plans to release the American journalist.
International Monetary Fund staff endorsed a $17 billion loan to Ukraine to help the government pay its bills amid a projected economic contraction of 5 percent this year, according to government officials who have seen the recommendations.
Russia's Foreign Ministry on April 23 said it believed that both the West and Kyiv had distorted an agreement reached in Geneva last week aimed at defusing the Ukraine crisis. Moscow said it believed that both the Ukrainian provisional government and Washington had been "closing their eyes" to "provocative actions" by Ukrainian nationalists. It called for a de-escalation of the situation after Ukraine re-launched military operations against pro-Kremlin separatists late on Tuesday, adding that talks should take place involving all parties.
As friends and family waited impatiently to hear from Simon Ostrovsky, the American journalist kidnapped by pro-Russian insurgents April 22, an image of a scantily dressed woman crawling across a bed appeared on his Facebook page April 23, likely the work of hackers. Also April 23, the self-proclaimed mayor of the Ukrainian city of Slovyansk said he would not free Ostrovsky.
A contingent of U.S. Army paratroopers arrived in Poland on April 23, the first of what will be a "persistent presence" of U.S. troops as the crisis in nearby Ukraine continues to unfold. The company-sized contingent will conduct training exercises with Polish counterparts and is visiting at the request of Poland.
The words of the senior figure in Pravy Sektor, a far-right Ukrainian nationalist movement, were clear and adamant. "The revolution is not finished yet," said Andriy Tarasenko. "And the aim of the revolution is to break the old system." Mr Tarasenko was speaking not of the separatist crisis in eastern Ukraine, but of the protesters who remain camped in Independence Square in the heart of Kyiv more than two months after they braved snipers' bullets to overthrow Viktor Yanukovych, the fallen president.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the United States of being behind the political upheaval in Ukraine and said Moscow would respond if its interests came under attack.
Ukraine's Interior Ministry on April 23 said it had flushed armed separatists out of a town which they had controlled in eastern Ukraine as part of an "anti-terrorism" operation. It said the operation took place on the outskirts of the town of Sviatogorsk and that no one was injured. There have been no previous reports of gunmen in the town, which lies just outside the stronghold of pro-Russian militants in Slaviansk.
Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine on April 23 confirmed they are detaining a U.S. journalist working with Vice News. The self-declared separatist mayor of Sloviansk told reporters the journalist, Simon Ostrovsky, had been detained for reporting what he said was false information that was "destabilizing for us" but that he was being treated well.
Ukraine's young government is running out of viable options for restoring its control of eastern regions and preserving the country's territorial integrity. Government and police buildings in more than a dozen places are still held by pro-Russian protesters, sometimes led by masked and well-armed men in uniform. The response from Kyiv to this assault has been inconsistent and hesitant.
HORLIVKA, Ukraine — The Ukrainian government April 23 ordered the resumption of military operations against pro-Russian militants in the east after a local political supporter was kidnapped and killed, and Russia warned that it would retaliate if its citizens or interests were attacked.