Financial News

  • 25 March 2014, 8:11

Obama: US And Europe United Behind Ukraine

Barack Obama has warned Russia it faces further sanctions if it takes more action in Ukraine after a meeting with other G7 leaders.

The US president met with other members of the G7 in The Hague to discuss a potential response to Russia after its seizure of the Crimea.

Washington has already imposed sanctions on 31 people in a campaign carefully crafted to target Russian officials with links to Russian President Vladimir Putin, without creating a backlash against US businesses.

Russia has defied Western sanctions, consolidating its grip of Crimea as Ukrainian forces in the peninsula were ordered to pull out.

Its troop movements close to the Ukraine border have also raised fears of further incursions.

G7 leaders agreed to hold their own summit in Brussels in June instead of attending the G8 in Sochi.

The meeting was also expected to discuss possible responses to Russian actions in Ukraine.

Preparations for the summit in Sochi had already been suspended as a result of Russia's actions in Ukraine.

In a statement following the meeting, the G7 leaders said their participation in the G8 would continue "until Russia changes course".

It comes after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with his Ukrainian counterpart on the sidelines of a nuclear summit at The Hague.

A photograph of the meeting - the first since Russian troops moved into Crimea - was posted on Twitter.

Mr Lavrov insisted it was no problem for Russia if the G8 does not meet.

The US president also held bilateral talks with with Chinese President Xi Jinpin, in another tricky front in US international relations.

The week-long trip will take Mr Obama to four countries.

His focus on Ukraine will continue in Brussels, the headquarters for the EU and NATO.

A Rome stop will feature a highly anticipated meeting with Pope Francis.

Then the president will travel to Saudi Arabia for a fence-mending visit with the important Gulf ally.

A bill to provide financial aid to Ukraine and impose sanctions over Russian actions passed a vote in the US Senate on Monday.

Under the bill, $150m of aid would be provided along with a $1bn loan guarantee.