Connect with us

World

Russia sanctions ramped up as Kiev says forces near crash site

Published

 on 

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Russia sanctions ramped up as Kiev says forces near crash site
Reuters / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: U.S. and European leaders agreed on Monday to impose wider sanctions on Russia’s financial, defence and energy sectors as Ukraine said its forces advanced towards the crash site of Malaysian flight MH17.

The new sanctions, which U.S. President Barack Obama and leaders of Germany, Britain, France and Italy discussed in a conference call, are aimed at increasing the pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin after the Malaysian airliner was shot down over territory held by pro-Moscow rebels in eastern Ukraine.

“It’s precisely because we’ve not yet seen a strategic turn from Putin that we believe it’s absolutely essential to take additional measures and that’s what the Europeans and the United States intend to do this week,” said Tony Blinken, a national security adviser to Obama.

The crash earlier this month has led to calls for much tougher action against Russia from Western countries who had previously imposed sanctions but only on small numbers of individuals and firms.

EU member states were expected to try to reach a final deal on Tuesday on stronger measures that would include closing the bloc’s capital markets to Russian state banks, an embargo on future arms sales and restrictions on energy technology and technology that could be used for defence.

In Brussels, EU sources said diplomats had reached preliminary agreement on a new list of companies and people, including associates of Putin, to be targeted by asset freezes.

Western states believe that the rebels brought down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, with the loss of 298 lives, using a missile supplied by Russia.

“The latest information from the region suggests that even since MH17 was shot down, Russia continues to transfer weapons across the border and to provide practical support to the separatists,” said a statement issued by British Prime Minister David Cameron after the leaders’ call.

“Leaders agreed that the international community should therefore impose further costs on Russia and specifically that ambassadors from across the EU should agree a strong package of sectoral sanctions as swiftly as possible.”

Russia has blamed the Ukrainian military for the tragedy, which deepened a crisis that erupted when a pro-Moscow Ukrainian president was forced from power and Russia annexed Crimea in March.

Earlier in the day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said sanctions imposed by the United States and the EU on officials and companies would not achieve their goal.

“We will overcome any difficulties that may arise in certain areas of the economy, and maybe we will become more independent and more confident in our own strength,” he told a news conference.

GOVERNMENT FORCES ADVANCE

The Ukrainian government said on Monday its troops had wrested more territory from the rebels and were moving towards the crash site which international investigators said they could not reach because of the fighting.

Troops recaptured two rebel-held towns near the site and were trying to take the village of Snezhnoye, near where Kiev and Washington say rebels fired the surface-to-air missile that shot down the airliner, Ukrainian officials said.

One pro-government militia said 23 of its men had been killed in fighting in the past 24 hours, while a rebel commander said he had lost 30 soldiers.

Analysis of black box flight recorders from the airliner showed it was destroyed by shrapnel from a missile blast which caused a “massive explosive decompression”, a Ukrainian official said on Monday.

Investigators in Britain, who downloaded the data, had no comment. They said they had passed information to the international crash investigation led by the Netherlands, whose nationals accounted for two-thirds of the victims.

In a report on three months of fighting between government forces and separatist rebels who have set up pro-Russian “republics” in the east, the United Nations said more than 1,100 people had been killed.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said increasingly intense fighting in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions was extremely alarming and the shooting down of the airliner on July 17 may amount to a war crime.

The separatists are still in control of the area where the plane was shot down but fighting in the surrounding countryside has been heavy as government forces try to drive them out.

On Monday at least three civilians were reported killed in overnight fighting, and Kiev said its troops recaptured Savur Mogila, a strategic piece of high ground about 30 km (20 miles) from where the Boeing hit the ground, and other areas under rebel control. Rebels denied Savur Mogila had been lost, saying fighting was continuing.

The crash site has yet to be secured or thoroughly investigated, more than 10 days after the crash. After days in which bodies lay untended in the sun, rebels gathered the human remains and shipped the bodies out, and turned over the flight recorders to a Malaysian delegation.

But the wreckage itself is still largely unguarded, and much of it has been moved or dismantled in what the rebels say was part of the operation to recover the bodies. No full forensic sweep has been conducted to ensure all human remains have been collected. Both side accuse the other of using fighting to prevent the investigation.

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe said its observers attempting to reach the crash site with investigators from Australia and the Netherlands were forced to return to Donetsk for “security reasons”.

A rebel leader, Vladimir Antyufeyev, told reporters in Donetsk that separatist fighters escorting the international experts to the site encountered fighting and turned back.

Antyufeyev, who like most of the senior rebel leadership is an outsider from Russia, also blamed the “senseless” Ukrainian army for trying to destroy evidence at the crash site under cover of fighting.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Visa9 hours ago

CCSA to consider extending Thailand tourist visa to 45 days

Bangkok9 hours ago

Man caught taking drugs inside a Bangkok police booth didn’t give a crap

Thailand9 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Thailand no longer considers Covid “dangerous infectious disease” 

Sponsored18 hours ago

Enjoy a splashing time and immerse yourself in Thai Mythology in Andamanda Phuket

Crime10 hours ago

Wife says boss of Mountain B in Pattaya is ‘not a villain’

Crime10 hours ago

Policeman poses as Buddhist monk to trick drug dealers in central Thailand

Travel10 hours ago

Stress-free travel with AXA Travel Insurance

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Guides11 hours ago

Mother’s Day in Thailand 2022: 5 fun ways to pamper your mom

Thailand11 hours ago

Thai minister insists minimum wage increase is not electioneering

Bangkok12 hours ago

Swedish Embassy hailed for giving 6-month parental leave to Thai staff

Travel12 hours ago

Everything you need to know about the Bangkok Skytrain (BTS)

Environment13 hours ago

PM warns Thailand to brace itself for potential flooding

Travel13 hours ago

Watch Koh Samui’s magical sunset from these sunset bars

Thailand13 hours ago

Local hero predicts building collapse, saves countless lives in eastern Thailand

Phuket13 hours ago

9 year old boy kills a 7 year old girl with a police pistol in Phuket

Press Room14 hours ago

Southeast Asia’s sauciest tech event, Techsauce Global Summit to return to Bangkok in physical form

Thailand11 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism1 year ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending