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US lawmakers, officials 'proud' of Russia sanctions

US officials and lawmakers scoffed at sanctions Russia imposed on them Thursday, saying it was a point of pride to be on President Vladimir Putin's blacklist. Minutes after President Barack Obama announced expanded sanctions against Russian officials over the Ukraine crisis, the Kremlin struck back with travel bans against US officials and lawmakers, including House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

US lawmakers 'proud' to be blacklisted in Russia row

US lawmakers scoffed at sanctions imposed on them by Russia Thursday, saying it was a point of pride to be on President Vladimir Putin's blacklist. Minutes after President Barack Obama announced expanded sanctions against Russian officials over the Ukraine crisis, the Kremlin struck back with travel bans against US lawmakers, including House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. "Proud to be included on a list of those willing to stand against Putin's aggression," Boehner wrote on Twitter.

Ukraine envoy says Russia plans further incursion, Moscow denies

GENEVA (Reuters) - Russia may be preparing a further military incursion to Ukrainian territory, Ukraine's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva told U.N. diplomats on Thursday. "There are indications that Russia is on its way to unleash a full blown military intervention in Ukraine's east and south," ambassador Yurii Klymenko said at a briefing on the human rights situation in Ukraine. But a Russian diplomat in Geneva immediately dismissed Klymenko's warning.

Calls to escalate Russia sanctions leave EU in a quandary

By Luke Baker BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Mocked by Moscow, the European Union needs to impose far tougher sanctions over Crimea to make President Vladimir Putin sit up and pay attention, but its ability to agree them is limited - and consensus may not be achievable at all. Russia's response to the first phase of EU sanctions - travel bans and asset freezes on 13 Russian and eight Crimeans - has been dismissive. Deputy PM Rogozin took to Twitter to ridicule the EU and the United States, calling their steps weak and meaningless.

World leaders react to Russia's absorption of Crimea

Following are the reactions of major world powers on Tuesday as Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty making Crimea part of Russia. - UNITED STATES "Russia has offered a variety of arguments to justify what is nothing more than a land grab." -- US Vice President Joe Biden

British PM says Russia to face serious consequences for Crimea annexation

LONDON (Reuters) - Russia will face serious consequences for President Vladimir Putin's "completely unacceptable" attempt to annex Ukraine's Crimea region, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Tuesday. "The steps taken by President Putin today to attempt to annex Crimea to Russia are in flagrant breach of international law and send a chilling message across the continent of Europe," Cameron said in a statement.

Putin has chosen 'route of isolation': Britain's Hague

Russian President Vladimir Putin has chosen the "route of isolation" by signing a treaty annexing Crimea, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Tuesday. Indicating that the G8 leading economies would discuss measures against Russia, Hague told parliament: "It was regrettable to hear President Putin today choosing the route of isolation." dk/gj/mfp

Putin says will never seek to spark confrontation with West

MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday Russia would never seek to start a confrontation with the West but that it will defend its own interests. "We must decide for ourselves whether we are ready to stand up for our national interests. Or just carry on giving them away forever?" he asked a joint session of parliament.

Putin signs treaty on making Crimea part of Russia

MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin and two Crimean leaders signed a treaty on Tuesday on making the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula a part of Russia. The signing in the Kremlin came two days after Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to secede from Ukraine and join Russia in a referendum condemned by the Ukrainian government, the United States and the European Union as illegitimate. Crimea's accession still requires the approval of Russian parliament, parliamentary officials say.

British lawmaker says West's sanctions on Putin's Russia are 'pathetic'

LONDON (Reuters) - Western sanctions on Russia for its attempts to annex the Ukrainian region of Crimea have so far been pathetic and European leaders must get tougher on Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin, a senior British lawmaker said on Tuesday. The United States and the European Union have placed sanctions on some Russians and Ukrainians in response to a referendum in the Crimea region which Putin is signaling he will add to Russia.
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