The Foreign Ministry said the EU sanctions imposed on 15 Russian
and pro-Moscow Ukrainian officials would not ease tension in
Ukraine, where the government is struggling to rein in pro-Russian
separatists in southeastern regions who it says are backed by
"Instead of forcing the Kiev clique to sit at the table with
southeastern Ukraine to negotiate the future structure of the
country, our partners are doing Washington's bidding with new
unfriendly gestures aimed at Russia," the Foreign Ministry said.
"If this is how someone in Brussels hopes to stabilize the situation
in Ukraine, it is obvious evidence of a complete lack of
understanding of the internal political situation ... and a direct
invitation for the local neo-Nazis to continue to conduct
lawlessness and reprisals against the peaceful population of the
southeast," it said in a statement. "Are they not ashamed?"
Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said separately that U.S.
and EU sanctions were "an absolutely counterproductive, trite
measure that will force the already critical situation in Ukraine
into a dead end," state-run news agency RIA reported.
[to top of second column]
Russia and the West accuse one another of failing to take steps to
implement an April 17 agreement to ease tension over Ukraine. Russia
retaliated against visa bans and asset freezes imposed following its
annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region last month but has not yet
announced any steps in response to the new sanctions unveiled by the
United States and EU this week.
(Writing by Steve Gutterman; editing by Timothy Heritage)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.