Russia Sanctions Loom as Rebels Violate Ukrainian Truce
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said further sanctions against Russia could be “put back on the agenda” if more progress isn’t made to end the Ukrainian conflict as the U.S. government also readied more penalties.
Merkel’s comments come amid Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s call on leaders in Russia, Germany and France to hold joint talks to discuss ways to end months of fighting, which has left hundreds dead. Poroshenko said he will present a draft constitution tomorrow to Ukrainian and European Union officials that seeks to widen regional powers in an attempt to calm the situation in the country’s east.
Militants, seeking closer ties with Russia, have continued to attack government forces defying a week-long cease-fire supported by both Russian President Vladimir Putin and rebel leaders. They downed an Mi-8 chopper in the eastern city of Slovyansk, killing all nine people on board, and have violated the truce 44 times in the past three days, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said yesterday.