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.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States held out the possibility on Monday that the U.S. and Russian foreign ministers could meet this week about Ukraine but said it needed to know Moscow would engage seriously on a diplomatic solution.
Russia’s bloodless seizure of the Crimea region of Ukraine has brought U.S.-Russian relations to one of their lowest points since the Cold War, with the United States searching for a way to keep Russia from annexing Crimea and its Russian naval base.
WASHINGTON/KEY LARGO, Florida (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Russia on Saturday that any steps to annex Ukraine’s Crimea region would close the door to diplomacy, a U.S. State Department official said.
Kerry’s latest telephone call with his Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, came as the standoff between occupying Russian forces and besieged Ukrainian troops intensified in Crimea.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns on Thursday laid out a strategy of patiently trying to counter Russia, including its intervention in Ukraine, reminiscent of legendary American diplomat George Kennan’s concept of “containment.”
Testifying before Congress, Burns suggested that Russia’s seizure of the Ukrainian region of Crimea reflected Moscow’s weakness, not its strength, and that a resolution, if one is possible, will take time.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department dropped its diplomatic niceties on Wednesday and all but accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of lying about events in Ukraine, publishing a list of what it said were 10 of his “false claims.”
A “fact sheet” released by the State Department’s press office said Putin had ignored or distorted the facts in “justifying Russian aggression in the Ukraine.”
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Sunday said it will send its top diplomat to Kiev in a show of support and threatened economic sanctions against Russia but made clear it is not seriously considering military action over Ukraine.
The Obama administration sought to devise a diplomatic and economic strategy to reverse Russia’s bloodless seizure of Ukraine’s Crimea region and to dissuade Moscow from sending its forces further into the territory of its neighbour.