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Ukraine crisis: Kerry accuses Russia of ‘destabilisation’

1 of 1 Ukraine crisis: Kerry accuses Russia of ‘destabilisation’
543 Views Date April 25th, 2014 time 10:56 am

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US Secretary of State John Kerry has accused Russia of “distraction, deception and destabilisation” in eastern Ukraine.

In a strongly worded statement, he called on Moscow to help defuse the crisis there or face further sanctions.

Earlier, Russia called on the US to make Kiev stop raids on pro-Moscow separatists in the east.

Russia ordered new military exercises on its border following the raids, drawing condemnation from Ukraine.

Mr Kerry was speaking amid an increasing war of words between the US and Russia over events in eastern Ukraine.

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At the scene

image of Beth McLeodBeth McLeodBBC News, Washington

This was unusually blunt language from America’s top diplomat. John Kerry countered what he called “President Putin’s fantasy about what is playing out on the ground”, laying out the case in prosecutorial style that Russia is co-ordinating the unrest in eastern Ukraine.

Rather than speaking on behalf of the US, John Kerry repeatedly referred to how “the world” judged Russia’s actions. His message was that Moscow is isolated and nobody believes the Kremlin’s version of events.

But strong words were all that Mr Kerry directed at Russia. He stopped short of announcing new sanctions although he said “costs” for Russia would only grow.

The US has been preparing additional sanctions against Russia for weeks, and speaking in Japan, President Barack Obama said they were now “teed up”.

Pro-Russian separatists are occupying key buildings in a dozen eastern Ukrainian towns, defying the central government.

On Thursday the Ukrainian government said that it had retaken control of the city hall in the south-eastern city of Mariupol, but BBC journalists at the scene found no evidence of Ukrainian security services having entered the building.

Mr Kerry praised the interim authorities in Kiev, saying they had honoured the agreement struck in Geneva on 17 April to de-escalate the crisis.

But he said Russia had “put its faith in distraction, deception and destabilisation”.

“Not a single Russian official has… called on the separatists to support the Geneva agreement, to support the stand-down, to give up their weapons and get out of the Ukrainian buildings,” he said.

He accused Russian media of promoting President Vladimir Putin’s “fantasy” about events in Ukraine and said Moscow continued to “fund, co-ordinate and fuel a heavily-armed separatist movement in Donetsk”.

Source: Fubo