West Vows More Russia Sanctions as Militants Detain Observers in Eastern Ukraine

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
April 26 2014 3:49 PM

West Vows More Russia Sanctions as Militants Detain Observers in Eastern Ukraine

The separatist leader and self-proclaimed "people's mayor" of the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk, Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, speaks during a news conference on Saturday

Photo by VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images

The United States and other Group of Seven countries have agreed to quickly impose more targeted sanctions against Russia, claiming the Kremlin has failed to fulfill the terms of the agreement reached in Geneva earlier this month. Meanwhile, pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine said they would release the international observers they captured and accused of being NATO spies in a prisoner exchange. Moscow said on Saturday it would do all it can to secure the release of the eight-member German-led team of monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), reports the BBC.

The de facto mayor the city of Slaviansk, acknowledged that the observers are being held captive: "They were soldiers on our territory without our permission, of course they are prisoners," according to Reuters.  Still, he emphasized the pro-Russian militants would be willing to let the observers go in exchange for separatists who have been detained by Kiev. "Prisoners have always been coins to exchange during times of war. It's an international practice," he said. The team of international observers is made up of "three German soldiers, a German translator and one soldier each from Czech Republic, Poland, Sweden and Denmark," reports the Associated Press. Five Ukrainians were also part of the team.


Earlier, the U.S. said it could increase sanctions on Moscow “as early as Monday,” reports the Wall Street Journal. "Given the urgency of securing the opportunity for a successful and peaceful democratic vote next month in Ukraine's presidential elections, we have committed to act urgently to intensify targeted sanctions and measures to increase the costs of Russia's actions," the G-7, which includes the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Canada, and Japan, said in a statement. The new sanctions are likely to target “individuals or companies with influence in specific sectors of the Russian economy such as energy and banking,” details the Guardian

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.


Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is

Divestment Is Fine but Mostly Symbolic. There’s a Better Way for Universities to Fight Climate Change.

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

Why Are Lighter-Skinned Latinos and Asians More Likely to Vote Republican?

How Ted Cruz and Scott Brown Misunderstand What It Means to Be an American Citizen

  News & Politics
Sept. 23 2014 12:43 PM Occupy Wall Street How can Hillary Clinton be both a limousine liberal and a Saul Alinsky radical?
Sept. 23 2014 12:36 PM Krispy Kreme Stuffed Half a Million Calories Into One Box of Doughnuts
The Eye
Sept. 23 2014 11:33 AM High-Concept Stuff Designed to Remind People That They Don’t Need Stuff  
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 11:13 AM Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 11:48 AM Punky Brewster, the Feminist Punk Icon Who Wasn’t
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 10:51 AM Is Apple Picking a Fight With the U.S. Government? Not exactly.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 23 2014 11:00 AM Google Exec: Climate Change Deniers Are “Just Literally Lying”
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.