WASHINGTON/GENEVA (Reuters) – The agreement designed to pull Ukraine back from the brink of civil war had been floundering around lunchtime on Thursday, so U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russia’s Sergei Lavrov, a smoker, stepped outside for a private word in the open air.
They appear to have made some progress. When they came back inside, a new session of formal negotiations was hastily arranged and, finally, a deal agreed.
GENEVA/MOSCOW (Reuters) – The United States, Russia, Ukraine and European Union together called on Thursday for an immediate halt to violence in Ukraine, where Western powers believe Russia is fomenting a pro-Russian separatist movement.
Washington immediately warned Moscow that it would face further sanctions if it did not carry out the agreement, reached in four-party crisis talks in Geneva.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department said on Tuesday it anticipates more Ukraine-related sanctions on Russia but suggested no action was likely before a diplomatic meeting in Geneva this week.
Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine last month and the United States accuses Moscow of fomenting unrest in eastern Ukraine, where Ukrainian military forces are seeking to regain control of sites seized by pro-Russian separatists over the weekend.
WASHINGTON, April 14 (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama
told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday that Russia’s
actions in Ukraine were not conducive to a diplomatic solution
of the crisis in that country, and the White House warned that
Moscow would suffer further costs for its behavior.
Obama spoke to Putin at the Russians’ request, a senior
administration official said, describing the call as “frank and
direct,” a diplomatic construction that usually means tense.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House warned Russia on Monday that it would face further costs over its actions in Ukraine and said U.S. President Barack Obama would speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin soon.
U.S. officials stopped short of announcing a new set of sanctions against Ukraine but said they were in consultations with European partners about the prospect.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns, who led secret talks with Iran that led to an agreement to curb its nuclear program and who served as the top U.S. diplomat for the Middle East as well as ambassador to Russia, will retire in October, officials said on Friday.
The departure of the Arabic-, French- and Russian-speaking official will be felt at the State Department, where he was regarded as the leading career diplomat of his generation and only the second to rise to deputy secretary of state.
WASHINGTON, April 11 (Reuters) – The United States on Friday
imposed sanctions on a Crimea-based gas company,
Chernomorneftegaz, effectively putting it off limits to Russia’s
state-controlled Gazprom, which was expected to bid
for a stake in the company.
The move, along with penalties on six Crimean separatists
and a former Ukrainian official, is the third round of U.S.
sanctions since the Ukraine crisis erupted and lays down a
harder line ahead of talks among U.S., Russian, Ukrainian and EU
officials in Geneva on Wednesday.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry bristled at fierce criticism from U.S. senators on Tuesday, saying he would accept blame for foreign policy failures but was at least trying to make progress on Middle East peace and the crises in Syria and Ukraine.
During a two-and-a-half-hour hearing, Kerry got pointed questions about the U.S. failure to end Syria’s civil war, prevent Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and make peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
WASHINGTON/LUHANSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry accused Russian agents and special forces on Tuesday of stirring separatist unrest in eastern Ukraine, saying Moscow could be trying to prepare for military action as it had in Crimea.
Armed pro-Moscow protesters were still occupying Ukrainian government buildings in two cities in the largely Russian-speaking east on Tuesday, although police ended a third occupation in a lightning night-time operation.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States warned Russia on Sunday that Western sanctions were imminent and Moscow would pay an increasing price for its military intervention in Ukraine as the White House rejected a referendum in the Crimea region that it was powerless to stop.
With Washington and its European allies expected to unveil coordinated punitive measures against Moscow as early as Monday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that Russia must pull its forces in Crimea back to their bases.