Bloomberg the Company & Products

Bloomberg Anywhere Login


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

More Russia Sanctions Are Needed, Ukraine Ambassador Says

Don't Miss Out —
Follow us on:

Aug. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Tougher U.S. and European sanctions on finance, military sales and energy are needed to stop Russia arming and supporting separatists and end the conflict in Ukraine, the country’s ambassador to the U.S. said.

At a Bloomberg Government lunch yesterday in Washington, Olexander Motsyk ruled out a unilateral cease-fire by Ukrainian forces and questioned a purported humanitarian aid convoy from Russia. He said stronger sanctions are needed, even if that would restrict the energy exports on which Ukraine and other European countries depend.

“Yes, there is some level of sacrifice, but it is sacrifice in the name of the peace and stability in Europe,” Motsyk said.

While the sanctions already imposed on dozens of companies and scores of individuals linked to efforts to divide Ukraine send a message that “a state that violates international law has to be held accountable,” they have “not changed Russia’s actions yet,” he said. More sanctions on vital sectors are needed to force Russia to back down and return Crimea to Ukraine, he said.

U.S. non-lethal assistance such as body armor, bulletproof helmets, communications equipment and meals are bolstering the Ukrainian military, Motsyk said. Government forces have reversed their losses in the last several weeks, recapturing three-quarters of the territory that had been seized by pro-Russian fighters, he added.

The U.S. and other NATO members are working with Ukraine, Motsyk said, though he declined to specify whether the assistance includes military training, intelligence or logistics. “Some things we already got, some things we hope to get as soon as possible,” he said. “Step by step, we’ve improved our logistics and chain of command.”

Military Momentum

The Ukrainian envoy said that his military’s momentum recapturing cities in the country’s east from pro-Russian militants brings with it the risks of urban warfare.

Many of the militants, he said, are Russian citizens armed by the Russian military, an assertion backed by U.S. intelligence reports.

“If Russia would close the border to heavy armaments, we would solve the problem,” he said. “The problem is that Russia continues to send across arms and assistance.”

Motsyk said Ukraine is prepared as part of any resolution of the conflict to “provide a corridor” for pro-Russian militants to leave Ukraine for Russia. While he said Ukraine will “never, ever recognize the annexation of Crimea” by Russia, the government in Kiev is prepared to provide more autonomy and financial and taxation authority to local regions.

Asked about OAO Gazprom, the Russian energy company that supplies about 30 percent of Europe’s gas imports, and which cut off supplies to Ukraine two months ago in a payment dispute, Motsyk said his government still hopes a resolution can be reached.

Seeking Alternatives

In the meantime, Ukraine is boosting its gas production; cutting consumption; seeking alternate sources such as coal, oil and nuclear power; and buying gas from Poland, Slovakia and other neighbors, he said.

The showdown over Gazprom and possible cutoff of Russian gas during winter is not a “life-or-death” crisis, he insisted.

“Yes, we’re dependent” on Russian gas, “but at the end of the day, we will find a way, maybe even to agree with Russia,” he said. “It’s in the interest of Russia to resume negotiations, as well.”

Russian Gas

Motsyk dismissed concerns that Russia might try to bar other customers from selling gas to Ukraine. “It’s a market: we can sell and we can buy,” and Russia has no right to tell other countries that they can’t resell Russian gas to Ukraine, he said.

Last week, Ukraine’s parliament approved a law allowing U.S. and EU investors to buy up to 49 percent of NAK Naftogaz Ukrainy, which operates pipelines that are used to transport gas for domestic use and half of the Russian gas that Europe imports.

Motsyk said U.S. and European companies have expressed interest in bidding for transportation, storage and operations. He cited Chevron Corp. based in San Ramon, California, as among the U.S. companies most involved in Ukraine’s energy industry.

To contact the reporter on this story: Indira A.R. Lakshmanan in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: John Walcott at Justin Blum

Please upgrade your Browser

Your browser is out-of-date. Please download one of these excellent browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.