The United States and other nations in the Group of Seven agreed yesterday to "move swiftly" to impose additional economic sanctions on Russia in response to its actions in Ukraine. In a joint statement released last night by the White House, the G-7 nations said they will act urgently to intensify "targeted sanctions." The statement said the G-7 will also continue to prepare broader sanctions on key Russian economic sectors if Moscow takes more aggressive action. The White House said US sanctions could be levied as early as Monday.
The announcement came as top Ukrainians spoke of imminent invasion and Moscow said that pro-Russian separatists would not lay down their arms in eastern Ukraine until activists relinquish control over key sites in Kiev. Tensions were heightened on the ground, with Russian fighter jets reported crossing into Ukrainian airspace and a team of unarmed foreign military observers detained by pro-Russian forces in Slovyansk, the heart of the separatist movement in the east. The G-7 nations said they were moving forward on the targeted sanctions now because of the urgency of securing plans for Ukraine to hold presidential elections next month. (Read more Ukraine stories.)