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Both the United States and European Union will soon impose additional sanctions against Russia as Moscow has increased its support for rebel fighters in Ukraine, White House officials announced Monday.
“Russia is doubling down on its own efforts to support the separatists and destabilize the country. Indeed it is cynically using all of the attention focused on the crash of MH17 as cover and distraction from its own efforts,” said Tony Blinken, a U.S. deputy national security adviser.
Blinken spoke to reporters after President Barack Obama held a video conference with European leaders about Russian activity in Ukraine, the 50th conversation the leaders have had since the start of the crisis.
Russia is accused of supplying the separatists with weapons that allowed them to shoot down a Malaysian Airlines flight earlier this month. Since then, Russia has increased the amount of heavy weapons that have been moved in the Ukraine, Blinken said.
Blinken did not announce the details of the new sanctions but said they would likely be imposed this week.
-- Andrew Rafferty