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MOSCOW, April 29 Russia suggested on Tuesday the
European Union should be ashamed of itself for "doing
Washington's bidding" by punishing Moscow with sanctions over
the crisis in Ukraine.
The Foreign Ministry said the EU sanctions imposed on 15
Russian and pro-Moscow Ukrainian officials would not ease
tension in Ukraine, where the government is struggling to rein
in pro-Russian separatists in southeastern regions who it says
are backed by Moscow.
"Instead of forcing the Kiev clique to sit at the table with
southeastern Ukraine to negotiate the future structure of the
country, our partners are doing Washington's bidding with new
unfriendly gestures aimed at Russia," the Foreign Ministry said.
"If this is how someone in Brussels hopes to stabilise the
situation in Ukraine, it is obvious evidence of a complete lack
of understanding of the internal political situation ... and a
direct invitation for the local neo-Nazis to continue to conduct
lawlessness and reprisals against the peaceful population of the
southeast," it said in a statement. "Are they not ashamed?"
Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said separately that
U.S. and EU sanctions were "an absolutely counterproductive,
trite measure that will force the already critical situation in
Ukraine into a dead end," state-run news agency RIA reported.
Russia and the West accuse one another of failing to take
steps to implement an April 17 agreement to ease tension over
Ukraine. Russia retaliated against visa bans and asset freezes
imposed following its annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region last
month but has not yet announced any steps in response to the new
sanctions unveiled by the United States and EU this week.
(Writing by Steve Gutterman, Editing by Timothy Heritage)