John Kerry says Russia seeks to alter "security landscape" with actions in Ukraine
WASHINGTON - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry accused Russia of seeking to change the security landscape of eastern and central Europe at a think tank in Washington on Tuesday.
Speaking at the Atlantic Council think tank, John Kerry said “What Russia's actions in Ukraine tell us is that today Putin's Russia is playing by a different set of rules".
Kerry added that Moscow is pursuing a “complete fiction” through its actions in Ukraine, and that the ongoing crisis is a “wakeup call” for America and its European allies.
America’s top diplomat called on NATO allies to increase defense spending to form a stronger alliance; members states are currently committed to spend at least two percent of their GDP on defense.
In a joint statement released Saturday, the G7 agreed to impose further economic sanctions on Moscow and condemned Russia’s lack of support for the Geneva accord on April 17 aimed at defusing the crisis.
The United States imposed new sanctions on Russia, designating seven new Russian government officials and 17 companies linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.
Meanwhile, after seizing the government building in eastern Ukrainian city Luhansk, pro-Russian separatists have invaded prosecution offices and television centre.
The group demand a referendum, the release of detained Russian supporters and official status for the Russian language.
The armed pro-Russians also tried to capture the police station.
During his address to nation, acting Ukrainian President and Verkhovna Rada Chairman Oleksandr Turchynov asked from the Interior Minister Arsen Avakov to relieve duty of chief of polices in the eastern Ukrainian cities of Donetsk and Luhansk, who are inactive, desperate and betraying.
Up to 1,500 pro-Moscow protesters took control of administration buildings and security service offices in Donetsk, Kharkiv and Lugansk on April 6.
Turchynov said that a major part of the police forces in those cities could not protect the people.
He also reminded that all the army members who cooperate with the terrorists and betray Ukraine, will be legally responsible for.
"If the police forces can not fulfill their obligations in those regions, we have renew them," he added.
Another development was that the separatists in Slavyansk wanted journalists to become accredited.
The spokesman of the separatists in Slavyansk Stella Harosheva said that the local and foreign accredited journalists can work without facing any obstacles.
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