mostlycloudy
Friday July 3rd, 2015 4:26PM

Russia accuses US of fueling Ukrainian crisis

By The Associated Press
MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia's foreign minister on Saturday accused the United States of encouraging Ukraine to challenge Moscow and heavily weighing in on the European Union.<br /> <br /> Speaking in televised remarks Saturday, Sergey Lavrov said that "our American colleagues still prefer to push the Ukrainian leadership toward a confrontational path."<br /> <br /> He added that chances for settling the Ukrainian crisis would have been higher if it only depended on Russia and Europe.<br /> <br /> Lavrov spoke after Friday's European Union summit, which decided not to immediately impose new sanctions on Russia for destabilizing eastern Ukraine, but gave the Russian government and pro-Russian insurgents there until Monday to take steps to improve the situation.<br /> <br /> Ukraine on Friday signed a free-trade pact with the EU, the very deal that angered Russia and triggered the bloodshed and political convulsions of the past seven months that brought Russia-West relations to their lowest point since the Cold War times.<br /> <br /> In November, under pressure from Moscow, a former Ukrainian president dumped the EU pact, fueling huge protests that eventually drove him from power. Moscow responded by annexing the mainly Russian-speaking Crimean Peninsula in March, and pro-Russian separatists soon rose up in Ukraine's eastern provinces.<br /> <br /> The U.S. and the EU slapped travel bans and asset freezes on members of Russian President Vladimir Putin's inner circle and threatened to impose more crippling sanctions against entire sectors of Russia's economy if the Kremlin fails to de-escalate the crisis.<br /> <br /> The EU leaders on Friday gave Russia and the rebels until Monday to take steps to ease the violence, including releasing all captives, retreating from border checkpoints, agreeing on a way to verify the cease-fire and launching "substantial negotiations" on Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's peace plan.<br /> <br /> The weeklong cease-fire, which both sides have been accused of violating, expired at 10 p.m. local time (1900 GMT), but Poroshenko quickly declared its extension until 10 p.m. local time Monday.<br /> <br /> Ukrainian Defense Minister Mykhailo Koval was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying Saturday that the situation in the east was largely quiet overnight and there were no casualties among Ukrainian troops despite sporadic shooting.<br /> <br /> Lavrov acknowledged that Russia has some leverage with the rebels, pointing at their move this week to release four observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe after weeks of captivity, but claimed that Moscow's influence is limited.<br /> <br /> "There are reasons to believe that they hear us on other aspects of Russian position regarding the crisis in Ukraine, but that doesn't mean that they immediately move to heed our calls," he said.<br /> <br /> Four other OSCE observers are still being held, but a leader of the insurgents promised Friday to free them "in the nearest days."<br /> <br /> Following talks with a troika including a former Ukrainian president who represented the Kiev government, the Russian ambassador and an OSCE envoy, rebel leader Alexander Borodai also promised to abide by the extended cease-fire.<br /> <br /> He rejected the EU leaders' demand to retreat from three checkpoints on the border with Russia captured by the rebels, but invited OSCE to send its monitors to the border crossings and any other areas in the east.
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 6 months ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 6 months ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 6 months ago )
U.S. News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 6 months ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 6 months ago )
Local/State News
Committee leaves transportation funding to lawmakers
Georgia will have to cover a $1 billion to $1.5 billion transportation funding gap to stay economically competitive, a committee of lawmakers is warning in a report issued Tuesday.
5:36AM ( 6 months ago )
US off war footing at year's end, but wars go on
Taking America off a permanent war footing is proving harder than President Barack Obama may have suggested.
6:13PM ( 6 months ago )
GOP leader regrets talk to white supremacists; party leaders rally around him
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
6:08PM ( 6 months ago )
Politics
Federal report: Polar bears in peril due to global warming
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Polar bears are at risk of dying off if humans don't reverse the trend of global warming, a blunt U.S. government report filed Thursday said."The single most important step fo...
8:25PM ( 20 hours ago )
The Latest on train derailment: 5,000 evacuated in Tennessee
MARYVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — 6 p.m.An official in eastern Tennessee says smoke has stopped rising from the site where a CSX train car derailed and caught fire, forcing the evacuation of thousands of reside...
6:05PM ( 22 hours ago )
Obama draws sharp contrasts with 'mean' Republicans
LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) — Wading into presidential politics, President Barack Obama on Thursday promoted his brand of middle-class economics by drawing sharp contrasts with "mean" Republicans in a state...
5:36PM ( 22 hours ago )
Jim Webb, Iraq war critic in Senate, running for president
WASHINGTON (AP) — Jim Webb, a decorated Vietnam veteran and accomplished novelist who became a fierce critic of the Iraq war in the Senate, announced Thursday that he's challenging Hillary Rodham Clin...
5:08PM ( 23 hours ago )
Top Republican doubts Senate will confirm ambassador to Cuba
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that his chamber is unlikely to approve an American ambassador to Cuba, dishing out a quick rebuff to President Barack Obama and...
4:28PM ( 23 hours ago )