Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov

“We keep all options open, including the use of fairly painful countermeasures. We are continuing to prepare for possible new sanctions, but at the same time we do not see the connection between US actions in the field of sanctions and what is happening in reality, in the world. These two areas do not fit together,”- said Ryabkov.

According to Deputy Foreign Minister, Moscow is not planning to announce its action plans in advance. He noted that “this is not a situation where absolutely always the principle of “an eye for an eye” is applicable, although some reflectivity is needed.”

On February 25, US Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States are ready to impose more anti-Russian sanctions in case of “the events in eastern Ukraine that deserve a response.” At the same time, the diplomat did not say when they were prepared and what these steps entail.

On February 19, the speaker of the US State Department, Jen Psaki said that Russia will face new sanctions if it doesn’t comply with Minsk agreements. She called on the Russian Federation and the rebels to “immediately cease attacks and withdraw heavy weapons, stop the flow of fighters and military equipment from Russia to Ukraine.”

Earlier, on February 12, John Kerry said that Washington does not rule out the easing of sanctions against Russia if it fulfils all the agreements reached in Minsk.

Statement by Kerry was made on the day when it became known that the leaders of the “Normand four” in Minsk adopted a declaration. The document notes that “the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, French President Francois Hollande and Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Angela Merkel confirm a complete respect of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

Following the talks in Minsk, an agreement was reached to impose a cease-fire starting at midnight on February 15. Also, “Normand four” came to an agreement to withdraw heavy weapons from the line of contact by both the Ukrainian army and the rebels in eastern Ukraine.

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