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बेसिक इंग्लिश का दूसरा सत्र (कक्षा प्रारंभ : 22 अक्तूबर, शाम 3:30 से 5:30)
Tension Escalates in Eastern Ukraine
Apr 28, 2014

Russia warned that any attack on its citizens in Ukraine would be considered an attack on Russia itself, as the Ukrainian government said it had resumed its anti-terrorist operation against pro-Russian militants in the eastern part of the country.

The escalating rhetoric comes amid growing signs that the agreement reached recently in Geneva between the USA, E.U., Russia and Ukraine, laying out steps to reduce tension, was headed for failure. Its collapse would escalate a race between USA and Russia to fix blame on the other side—as well as set off new rounds of tit-for-tat punitive measures.

Setting the stage for likely new sanctions, the US State Department said that Russia's recent public comments have been devoid of "any indication of a plan to implement the Geneva statement, to follow through on promises made." Western countries and Ukraine accuse Russia of failing to rein in the pro-Russia, anti-Ukraine groups in eastern Ukraine.

Russia's Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, blasted Ukraine and the US for what it called a distorted interpretation of the Geneva deal, arguing that Ukraine isn't doing enough to disarm and rein in Ukrainian nationalist groups. But the USA and Ukraine reject those allegations.

On other hand, Poland welcomed some 150 US troops to its territory, sent to reassure American allies close to the Russian border. U.S. officials said the Obama administration was moving rapidly toward imposing new sanctions on more people close to President Vladimir Putin. The White House had initially planned to impose new sanctions on Russia, but held off after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov signed the Geneva deal.

U.S. officials said the next round of sanctions being developed won't hit broad sectors of the Russian economy, but, instead, focus on a wider range of Russian officials, business "cronies" close to Vladimir Putin, and their companies. One possible is Igor Sechin, the president of Rosneft, Russia's state-owned oil company.

The EU is expected to follow by sanctioning another group of Russian and Ukrainian officials viewed as complicit in the destabilization of Ukraine. Despite warning repeatedly of more serious consequences, the Obama administration has so far held off on the broader sanctions. For them to be effective, as with Iran previously, it would be better if Europe went along. But many European countries fear collateral damage to their own struggling economy, which is more closely tied to Russia's than the U.S. 

Obama administration said that they remain prepared to hit broad sectors of the Russian economy—including its energy, finance, and defence industries. But getting to that point on Iran with European allies was a long and difficult process that required overcoming a series of political, economic and legal obstacles.

It is notable here that in 2008, Russia sent troops into the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia after Georgian forces allegedly fired on Russian peacekeepers. The ensuing 10-day war triggered what was at the time the most severe East-West conflict since the Cold War.

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