G7 Leaders Agree on New Russia Sanctions
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - US President Barack Obama and top European leaders are moving ahead on a new round of sanctions against Russia, US officials said.
In a joint statement on Saturday, the Group of Seven nations - Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK and the US - said that they will "move swiftly to impose additional sanctions on Russia".
"Given the urgency of securing the opportunity for a successful and peaceful democratic vote next month in Ukraine's presidential elections, we have committed to act urgently to intensify targeted sanctions and measures to increase the costs of Russia's actions," the statement said.
AFP news agency, citing a source close to the issue, reported that the US sanctions could be imposed as early as Monday. The source, a senior US official, added that each country "will determine which targeted sanctions they will impose".
"These sanctions will be coordinated and complementary, but not necessarily identical," the official said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said EU foreign ministers would meet soon to discuss the issue after speaking by conference call with Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
"Given the absence of progress, we have to think about - and not just think about, but act on - the option of new sanctions," Merkel said.
"For this purpose, European Union foreign ministers will meet as soon as possible."
US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters that Washington had been working in "lockstep" with the Europeans.
"It's safe to say we're in the stage of not just preparing but coordinating on sanctions and what's next."
It likely that the third round of sanctions against Russians and Ukrainians blamed for the unrest in the former Soviet satellite will again target individuals and entities.
Both US and EU officials have already blacklisted more than a dozen individuals including the breakaway leaders in Crimea, annexed by Moscow last month.