Russia says West must not impose sanctions on Ukraine officials

by Reuters
Thursday, 20 February 2014 11:36 GMT

MOSCOW, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Russia sharply criticised Western sanctions against Ukrainian officials on Thursday, after the United States imposed visa bans and the European Union considered similar measures.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said that threats of sanctions were "inappropriate" and would only aggravate the confrontation between the Ukrainian government and its opponents. Separately, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov likened threats of sanctions to blackmail, RIA news agency reported. (Writing by Thomas Grove; Editing by Steve Gutterman)