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Russia ready to face new Western sanctions over Ukraine

Russia is ready to face a new round of Western sanctions over Ukraine, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Tuesday. "I am sure we will be able to minimise their consequences," he said in a televised speech to parliament. "The government is ready to act in conditions when the priority of our work becomes protecting the economy and citizens from such unfriendly acts that could follow due to the escalating foreign policy situation." am/txw

Biden pledges support for Ukraine's pro-Western leaders

Vice President Joe Biden said the United States stood by Ukraine's new pro-Western leaders Tuesday in the face of "humiliating threats" as Washington and Moscow traded blame over the crisis in the ex-Soviet country. "You face very daunting problems, and some might say, humiliating threats," Biden told a group of lawmakers in a meeting at Ukraine's parliament. The US would "stand with" Ukraine ahead of a presidential poll scheduled for May 25 that "may be the most important election in Ukrainian history," he said.

Russia ready for new sanctions over Ukraine

Russia is ready to face a new round of Western sanctions over Ukraine, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Tuesday. "I am sure we will be able to minimise their consequences," he said in a televised speech to parliament. "The government is ready to act in conditions when the priority of our work becomes protecting the economy and citizens from such unfriendly acts that could follow due to the escalating foreign policy situation." However, he acknowledged Russia's economy was facing an "unprecedented challenge".

U.S. could hit Russian officials with sanctions, State Department says

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The United States could impose sanctions on a range of Russian officials over the crisis in Ukraine, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Monday. Asked in an interview on Twitter whether the United States was considering the possibility of hitting Russian President Vladimir Putin personally with sanctions, Psaki replied: "Range of officials under consideration. Plenty to sanction before we would discuss President #Putin."

U.S. could hit Putin with sanctions, State Department says

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The United States could potentially impose sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin himself over the crisis in Ukraine, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Monday, but she suggested such a step would not be taken soon.

Putin playing the long game over Russian kin in Ukraine

By Christian Lowe MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's decision last week to sign a peace accord on Ukraine does not mean that the Kremlin is backing down, rather that President Vladimir Putin is prepared to be patient in pursuit of his ultimate objective. That aim, his own reflections and those of people close to his way of thinking seem to indicate, is one day to re-unite Russian speaking peoples, including those living within the borders of Ukraine, within one common home.

Biden heads to Ukraine after fragile truce shattered

US Vice President Joe Biden will begin a two-day visit to Ukraine on Monday, hours after a fragile Easter truce was shattered and pro-Kremlin rebels in the country's east appealed for help from Russian "peacekeepers". Biden's arrival in Kiev comes after a deadly gunfight killed at least two pro-Russian militants, an incident which sparked "outrage" in Moscow. But the Western-backed authorities in Kiev claimed the violence was a set-up by Russia to create a pretext for it to send in troops.

Putin changes law to ease citizenship for Russian speakers

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin approved on Monday legal amendments to make it simpler for Russian speakers in the former Soviet Union to acquire Russian citizenship, the Kremlin said on Monday. The changes follow Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula and tension in the largely Russian-speaking east of Ukraine. (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin, editing by Nigel Stephenson)

Ukraine rebels call for Russian troops after deadly gunfight

Pro-Kremlin rebels in east Ukraine appealed Sunday for Russian "peacekeepers" to sweep in after a deadly gunfight killed at least two of their militants, shattering an Easter truce and sparking "outrage" in Moscow. But the Western-backed authorities in Kiev claimed the violence was a set-up by Russia to create a pretext for it to send troops in. The attack, near the flashpoint town of Slavyansk, undermined an accord worked out in Geneva between Russia, Ukraine and Western powers on Thursday under which "illegal armed groups" were to surrender their weapons.

Kremlin calls claims of US sanctions against Putin 'absurd'

A Kremlin spokesman on Sunday dismissed as "absurd" claims that Washington could target President Vladimir Putin directly if it imposes further sanctions against Russia. Quoting anonymous sources, The Times said in an article published Friday that the United States was looking at imposing sanctions on Putin, who is estimated to hold some $40 billion in Swiss accounts. But Putin's spokesman rubbished the claim. "That's obviously a hoax, an absurd one," Dmitry Peskov told Moscow's Echo radio station.
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