The US currently has many packages of sanctions against Russia, and they will increase until Russia starts to collaborate in the search for a resolution of the conflict in Ukraine, the violation of human rights, and so on, said US State Department Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker in an interview with the Pryamiy TV channel.
“The sanctions, I believe, are already having an effect. They have not yet changed Russia’s fundamental policy towards Ukraine or the Donbas. But I know that they are creating pressure. And there is a desire on the Russian side to have these sanctions lifted in some way. And so, we see that the pressure which is being created strengthens our negotiating position, and what we are now considering with respect to Russia. If they agree to the implementation of the points of the Minsk agreements, only then can we talk about lifting them. Otherwise these sanctions will only increase,” Volker said.
According to him, the US wants to show Russia that the situation cannot continue, and that Russia needs to put forward proposals for achieving peace.
“Russia, at present… they are not prepared, as far as I understand, to continue the implementation of the Minsk agreements. That’s why we have not achieved anything new, but we have clarified the situation on quite a detailed level. We will formulate proposals to Russia, until we have a concrete solution on the table. If they are prepared to work in the interests of the world, we will be prepared to go to meet with them,” Volker said.
Earlier, US Congress published the text of a bill on new sanctions against Russian banks and government debt, which was put forward on August 2 by several senators and led by republican Lindsey Graham. Sanctions are proposed against Sberbank, VTB Bank, Gazprombank, the bank of Moscow, Rosselkhozbank, Promsvyazbank and Vnesheconombank (VEB).
The bill also reiterates the key provisions of the Crimea Declaration, according to which the US refuses to recognize the Kremlin’s claims to sovereignty over the Crimean peninsula, which was captured by force, in violation of international law.
On August 8, fragments of this bill were published in the Kommersant newspaper. In light of the news about the new sanctions against Russia, the ruble crashed, as did Sberbank stock prices on the Moscow Exchange.