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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

Wednesday, Sept. 3


Although thesand sculptures at the Peter and Paul Fortress are more centrally located and therefore more visible to the throngs of tourists, the 300th Anniversary Park of St. Petersburgs own collection closes today so fans of the classic beach activity should get there while they can.



Thursday, Sept. 4


Vladimir I. Danchenkov, Head of Baltic Customs, will be in attendance during AmChams Customs and Transportation Committee Meeting convening this afternoon at the organizations office near St. Isaacs Square at 3 p.m.



Friday, Sept. 5


Scrabble lovers and chess masters get their chance to assert their intellectual dominance at the return of the British Book Centers Board Game Evenings tonight. Held weekly on Friday nights, the event gives both board game lovers and those hoping to improve their English the chance to meet, greet and compete. Check out the centers VK page for more details.



Saturday, Sept. 6


Athletes will relish the chance to get the latest gear and try out something new at I Choose Sport, an annual event at Lenexpo forum that plans to welcome more than 30,000 people this week to the international exhibition center. Not only will visitors get to try their hand at various athletic endeavors but they will also be able to peruse equipment that can fulfill their dreams of becoming a champion.


Local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg open their season this evening at home against Lokomotiv Yarovslavl at the Ice Palace arena next to the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. See their website for a full schedule and available tickets.



Sunday, Sept. 7


Check out retro and antique cars at Fort Konstantin on Kronstadt Island in the Gulf of Finland at FORTuna, a yearly car festival that highlights the eccentricities of the Soviet automobile industry. A car race, contests and a stunt show will give visitors a chance to rev their engines.



Monday, Sept. 8


This evening marks the opening of the two-week ballet festival High Season at the Mikhailovsky Theater. Check the theaters website for more details about performances and featured dancers.



Tuesday, Sept. 9


Discuss the latest news and issues at the AmCham Hazardous Waste Management Roundtable this morning in the Tango Conference Hall of the Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge on Birzhevoy Pereulok. Starting at 9 a.m., planned topics include the Krasny Bor landfill and waste transportation between Russia and Finland.


Learn more about the citys modern architectural trends at the SPIBA Real Estate and Construction Committees meeting on the topic Contemporary Petersburg Style: What is It? Participants will get the chance to discuss whats in-demand with RBI Holdings Irina Petrova and Lubava Pryanikova, and the current state of the local real estate market. Please confirm your attendance by Sept. 5 through SPIBAs website if you wish to attend.



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