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US sanctions against Russia encourage Kiev to raise tensions in Donbass — politician

August 11, 2017, 15:17 UTC+3 KIEV

On July 27, the US Senate passed a bill imposing new unilateral sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea

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© AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

KIEV, August 11. /TASS/. The new US sanctions against Russia encourage the Kiev authorities to raise tensions in Donbass, leader of the Ukrainian Choice public movement Viktor Medvedchuk said on Friday.

"After assessing sanctions and their possible consequences, one will inevitably come to the conclusion that the sanctions bill passed by the US Congress and signed by the US president is nothing more than a tool to encourage Kiev to escalate the Donbass conflict," the Ukrainian politician pointed out.

Medvedchuk stressed that the US Congress’ decision to pass the bill, as well as its signing by US President Donald Trump, had been "accompanied by numerous statements made by US politicians about the need to provide Kiev with lethal weapons." "Kiev immediately picked up the US hawks’ signal, so some marginal politicians started pledging to conduct a mop-up operation in Donbass - this is the result of the US sanctions campaign," Medvedchuk said.

He also said that such actions were not in line with the plan to find a peaceful solution to the Donbass conflict, drawn up by the Normandy Quartet (comprising Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine). Besides, in Medvedchuk’s words, Washington’s decision "dealt a blow to the Minsk process."

"Only short-sighted politicians can claim that sanctions on Russia are aimed at supporting the Ukrainian government’s efforts to restore the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity," he noted. "In fact, the US bill, first and foremost, deals a blow to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity," the Ukrainian Choice public movement leaded stated.

New round of sanctions

On July 27, the US Senate passed a bill imposing new unilateral sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea. The document, dubbed Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, enshrines restrictions introduced by the previous US administration and deprives the US president of the right to ease the sanctions without congressional approval.

As a response, the Russian Foreign Ministry suggested that by September 1, Washington reduce the number of diplomatic and technical staff at is diplomatic missions in Russia, to match the number of Russian staff working in the United States. Besides, on August 1, Russia suspended the use of a US country house located in the Serebryany Bor area in northwest Moscow and a Moscow storage facility.

On August 2, US President Donald Trump signed the bill passed by the Congress, calling the document flawed and accusing US legislators of taking Washington’s relations with Moscow to "an all-time and very dangerous low."

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