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Sanctions Loom as U.S. Condemns Russian Troops

Published: March 13, 2014 (Issue # 1801)



  • People protesting against Russia's intervention in Crimea.
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. and European Union moved closer to imposing sanctions on Russia on Wednesday, as a discrepancy in a U.S. interpretation of President Vladimir Putin's rhetoric about the Ukrainian crisis opened itself up to Russian attacks.

The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a nonbinding resolution on Tuesday that condemned the presence of Russian troops in Ukraine and called for sanctions on Russia, including its exclusion from the Group of Eight.

The resolution, echoing last week's bill supporting $1 billion in loan guarantees to Ukraine, urged the administration of President Barack Obama to work with European allies and other countries to impose visa, financial, trade and other sanctions on senior Russian Federation officials, majority state-owned banks and commercial organizations, and other state agencies, as appropriate.

Interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk was to meet with Obama and the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee later Wednesday, an exchange that reinforces the West's allegiance to the new Ukrainian government.

But with the U.S. set to impose sanctions on Russia as early as next week, a U.S. State Department exposé titled President Putin's Fiction: 10 False Claims About Ukraine contains a discrepancy that could be used by Russian authorities to berate the U.S. on its approach to the conflict.

The State Department's breakdown of Putin's false claims on Ukraine says the terms of the Feb. 21 agreement gave Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych 24 hours to sign a bill to return Ukraine to its 2004 Constitution. But the actual agreement gave Yanukovych 48 hours.

Yanukovych refused to keep his end of the bargain, the State Department says in the statement published on its website on March 5.

But the Ukrainian parliament, which voted to oust Yanukovych on Feb. 22 only 24 hours later did not give him the full 48 hours to fulfill this term of the agreement.

This discrepancy in the State Department's analysis could give credence to Russia's insistence that the opposition failed to implement the Feb. 21 agreement with Yanukovych, further bolstering its claim that Yanukovych's ouster and the current government in Kiev are illegitimate.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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