The United States and its allies are discussing imposing more sanctions against Russia for undermining a European-brokered truce in eastern Ukraine, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Saturday.
Kerry made the comments as he began talks with his British counterpart Philip Hammond in London, accusing Moscow of “extraordinarily craven behavior at the expense of the sovereignty and integrity of a nation”.
The Kiev military accused Russia on Friday of sending tanks and troops into easternUkraine despite a ceasefire that went into force last Sunday, brokered by France andGermany in a bid to end a conflict that has killed more than 5,000 people.
The Kremlin did not immediately respond to the allegation but has always denied accusations in the past that its forces are fighting in Ukraine.
Kerry, however, said the United States “knows to a certainty” of Russia’s involvement in the conflict and support it was giving to the separatists.
“Russia has engaged in an absolutely brazen and cynical process over these last days,” the Secretary of State said.
“We are talking about additional sanctions, about additional efforts, and I’m confident over the next days people will make it clear that we are not going to play this game,” he added.
“We’re not going sit there and be part of this kind of extraordinarily craven behavior at the expense of the sovereignty and integrity of a nation.”
Pro-Russian separatists are building up forces and weapons in Ukraine’s south east and the Ukrainian military said on Saturday it was braced for the possibility of a rebel attack on the port city of Mariupol.