With tensions at a decades long high between Russia and the Unites States, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will discuss pouring more fuel on the fire with a meeting this week with European allies to talk further sanctions on Russia over the hostility in the Ukraine.
The U.S. has already targeted Russia’s financial, defense and energy sectors with sanctions, blaming Russia for inhuman involvement in the annexation of Crimea and supporting pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine.
“There are continuing conversations with the EU about continuing to expand sanctions,” a senior U.S. State Department official accompanying Kerry to a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels said on Tuesday, reports Reuters.
“We will be having those conversations about where we go next, particularly in response to the continued supply of heavy weapons coming across the border (from Russia),” said the official who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity.
Russia’s Economic Ministry is warning that U.S. sanctions, along side falling oil prices, will bring Russia into a recession in 2015.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters on Friday that Russia sees no connection between the sanctions and the conflict in Ukraine.
“Specific facts have been stated that signal that the unilateral sanctions introduced against us are illegitimate and undermine stability of the global economy and have nothing in common with the goal of de-escalating the Ukrainian crisis,” the official Tass agency quoted Mr. Lavrov as saying.
Foreign Minister Lavrov has also recently accused the sanctions of being a way to stir up political unrest inside Russia with the goal of ousting current President Vladimir Putin.
“Western leaders publicly state that the sanctions must hurt [Russia’s] economy and stir up public protests,” he said. “The West doesn’t want to change Russia’s policies. They want a regime change. Practically nobody denies that.”
As Kerry is set to conspire a way to punish Russia for its involvement in Ukraine, Russia has announced that it will be increasing its amount of military exercises next year, with some exercises set to involve tens of thousands of servicemen.
From Yahoo News:
Russia has increased the number of military drills to test and improve its military capabilities as ties with the West deteriorated over the crisis in Ukraine.
“The exercises will take place in the summer period simultaneously on several training grounds within Russia and abroad,” Yaroslav Roshupkin, a spokesman for Russia’s Central Military District, said of the planned “Centre 2015″ drills.
“They will be extended in time and bring together under unified command tens of thousands of servicemen of the Central Military District, branches and types of the armed forces, as well as other security ministries and agencies.”
He said new weapons would also be tested during the exercises.
The Defence Ministry said next year’s plans mark an increase from more than 3,000 drills carried out this year.
When looking at the origins of the Ukraine uprising that has lead to the current turmoil between Russia in the East and the U.S. and NATO in the West, one can see that it was the West itself who ignited the conflict with its direct involvement in the over through of the democratically elected government of Ukrainian president Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych in early 2014.
As noted by Paul Craig Roberts in March:
It is now apparent that the “Maiden protests” in Kiev were in actuality a Washington organized coup against the elected democratic government. The purpose of the coup is to put NATO military bases on Ukraine’s border with Russia and to impose an IMF austerity program that serves as cover for Western financial interests to loot the country. The sincere idealistic protesters who took to the streets without being paid were the gullible dupes of the plot to destroy their country.
The selfish politics of the West is bringing the world closer to war.
A war that is in the best interest of no citizen in either the East or West.
This article originally appeared on Eyes Open Report.