In Summary
  • The minister, a beneficiary of scholarship grants at University of Kiev in Ukraine, said holding talks to iron out differences is a better way of eliminating hostilities than use of military might.

Kenya has weighed in on the conflict between Russia and Ukraine by calling for peace even as Russia accused the United States of seeking to revive iron-curtain policies.

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed said Kenya respects territorial integrity of sovereign states and urges all other nations to do the same.

“Kenya and Ukraine hold similar views on multilateral matters such as world trade, climate change, security, and international peace.

“Kenya believes in the peaceful resolution and settlement of disputes and the respect of territorial integrity of sovereign states,” she said during a farewell luncheon for outgoing Ukrainian Ambassador to Kenya Volodymyr Butiaha.

“Kenya therefore remains hopeful that Ukraine and Russia will settle the ongoing dispute peacefully,” she added.

FACADE OF BRAVADO

The minister, a beneficiary of scholarship grants at University of Kiev in Ukraine, said holding talks to iron out differences is a better way of eliminating hostilities than use of military might.

Mr David Mutemi, Director of Foreign Service Administration at Foreign Affairs Ministry presented the speech by the CS.

Russian officials noted that the latest US sanctions would harm the country’s economy and said Moscow would retaliate but sought to maintain a facade of bravado, saying the measures would consolidate the country and improve production.

“The seriousness of these measures is obvious to us," Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in an interview with online newspaper Gazeta.ru. “All of that is a blow to our high-tech enterprises and industries.”

“This is a revival of a system created in 1949 when Western countries essentially lowered an 'iron curtain' cutting off supplies of high-tech goods to the USSR and other countries. Today, in 2014, the United States is attempting to do the same.”

OFFICIALS BLACKLISTED

The US and Europe imposed new sanctions on Russian government officials and business entities in an a renewed bid to pressure President Vladmir Putin and his Ukrainian allies to cease their military activity in the eastern Ukraine. (READ: US, EU to step up sanctions on Russia)

The sanctions include travel bans and asset freezes against seven Russian government officials and businessmen, as well as 17 Russian companies.

There are also restrictions on any high-technology trade with Moscow that could benefit its defence companies. The European Union on its part blacklisted 15 Russian and Ukrainian officials, but withheld their names until Tuesday. (READ: US orders sanctions on Russian officials)

But the Russian Deouty Premier said the sanctions would affect cooperation in the high-tech sector, supplies of US goods that can be used for both military and civilian purposes, and the launch of US-made space vehicles.

Last week, the US imposed fresh sanctions on a number of Russians in response to the violation of a peace agreement signed in Geneva earlier this month.

PUNISH THE US

He said Moscow did not want to see a rupture in ties with Washington and Brussels but stressed that Russia would retaliate.

“We already have something and something will be introduced shortly. The question is, what the symmetrical answer will be, what will be part of it,” said Ryabkov, adding that Moscow would punish the United States at its own pace.

“You know, we would like to reflect on that. Why should we immediately, without a pause undertake something?"

On Wednesday, Moscow further accused the European Union of following the United States in the Ukraine crisis.

“Instead of forcing the Kiev clique to sit down at the negotiating table with the southeast of Ukraine over the future makeup of the country, our partners are doing Washington's bidding with new unfriendly gestures towards Russia,” the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement.

“If that's how Brussels is hoping to stabilise the situation in Ukraine, then this is obvious evidence of complete incomprehension of the internal political situation in (Ukraine),” the statement said. "Are you not ashamed?"