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West Warns Russia of 'Very Serious' Consequences

Published: March 14, 2014 (Issue # 1801)



  • President Putin met with permanent members of Russia's Security Council on Thursday.
    Photo: kremlin.ru

As Sunday's referendum in Crimea looms, the West has multiplied its diplomatic efforts to prevent Russia's annexation of the peninsula while preparing sanctions in case Russia does not backtrack.

Talk of sanctions against Russia come amid President Vladimir Putin's efforts to deflect his country's blame for the crisis.

In a meeting with the permanent members of Russia's Security Council on Thursday, which was attended by high-level Russian dignitaries including Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Putin said Russia was not to be blamed for the crisis in Ukraine.

Putin also told national Paralympic association officials in Sochi that Russia was not "an instigator" of the crisis in Crimea and thanked the delegations for keeping the games politics-free.

While Russian authorities have been downplaying blame and anticipating the addition of an 84th federal subject to the country, the U.S. is busy intensifying its eleventh-hour diplomatic efforts to prevent Russia from annexing the Ukrainian republic.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will be meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in London on Friday at the request of U.S. President Barack Obama to discuss proposals on how to resolve the crisis.

On Thursday, Kerry told a Senate committee that Moscow should expect immediate consequences if it accepts and acts on the upcoming referendum.

"If there is no sign of Russian compromise, there will be a very serious series of steps on Monday in Europe and here," Kerry said in comments carried by The Associated Press.

According to a U.S. State Department press statement, Kerry's meeting with Lavrov, their third in the last two weeks, will serve as a stage to "continue to reaffirm the U.S.' unwavering support for Ukrainian sovereignty, unity, territorial integrity and the right of the Ukrainian people to determine their own future, without outside interference or provocation by Russia."

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Aug. 21


Time is running out to see the fantastic creations on display at the 2014 Sand Castle Festival on the beach at the Peter and Paul Fortress. Adhering to the theme of Treasure Island, visitors can wander amongst larger-than-life interpretations of pirate life or attend one of the workshops held to educate a future generation of sand artists. The castles will remain on the beach until Aug. 31.



Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



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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