US READIES UNILATERAL SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: The United States signaled on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) it could go it alone on toughening sanctions on Russia if Europe does not agree to increase pain for Moscow over its policies in Ukraine. A raft of unilateral measures have been prepared that President Barack Obama could use to land new blows on the Russian economy, if European officials meeting in Brussels on Wednesday do not decide to take similar steps, a senior US official told Agence France-Presse. But the White House has not yet decided on any steps that would mark a departure from its insistence on moving in tandem with Europe on sanctions, the official said, on condition of anonymity. Intense discussions are continuing with US allies and Washington would clearly prefer to move in coordination with Europe on measures that could target sectors of the Russian economy and defense industry — because joint action would likely be most effective.

AFP

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