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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

US Senators Call for New Sanctions on Russia

RIA Novosti

13:15 23/07/2014

MOSCOW, July 23 (RIA Novosti) – US senators called on their President Barack Obama to impose new sanctions against Russia, specifically the energy, finance and defense sectors of Russia's economy, a letter from the senators addressed to the US president said.

"We urge you to implement your power in order to impose broader sanctions against Russia's defense sector immediately, including state company Rosoboronexport. Russians must stop providing weapons, equipment and training to separatists in eastern Ukraine. We also urge you to consider further sanctions targeting energy, finance and other sectors of Russian economy," the letter said.

Senate Committee on Foreign Relations chairman Robert Menendez, Select Committee on Intelligence head Dianne Feinstein and Armed Services Committee chairman Carl Levin signed the document.

Senators also asked Obama to add Donetsk People's Republic to US terrorism blacklist.

"We call to consider the possibility of considering Donetsk People's Republic a foreign terrorist organization. An increasing evidence of human rights violations in the east of Ukraine, including cases of kidnapping and torture indicate that their actions threaten lives of innocent Ukrainians, not to mention those poor people who just travelled in the Ukrainian airspace," the letter said.

Senators blame independence supporters in eastern Ukraine for shooting down a Malaysia Airlines plane on July 17. Flight MH17, heading from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in eastern Ukraine. There were 298 people on board, including 15 crew members. Nobody survived.

Local militia leaders argue they do not have weapons that could bring down a plane flying at an attitude of 32,000 feet.

Russia's Defense Ministry said that at the time of the crash, the Ukrainian military had at least 27 Buk surface-to-air missile systems capable of hitting targets at the attitude of up to 25,000 meters.

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