Apr.12 - U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says there is unity within the G7 on increasing sanctions against Russia in response to escalating action in Ukraine. Sarah Toms reports.
Clashes like these in Ukrainian cities are an almost regular occurrence since Russia's annexation of Crimea last month Tensions rachet another notch as Russia puts the squeeze on Ukraine over possible gas supply cuts. The crisis once again tops the agenda of the world's leading rich nations. After meetings this week, US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew warns Russia that the Group of Seven developed nations will support further sanctions if necessary. . (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY JACK LEW SAYING: 18:13:52 "It you look at the statements made by the chairman of the G7, by the finance minister of Germany and by myself, I think you see entire consistency. And in a discussion that went on for quite a long time in the room, there was no dissent in the room that it was essential that there be unity in taking action if necessary. Now to be clear, there was nobody in the room, myself included, who wants to be in the position where additional sanctions are necessary. The purpose is to make it clear to Russia that they need to step back. But it was equally clear that if they don't, if they step forward, if they do things that are illegal that violate the sovereignty of Ukraine, that there will be unity in the world in responding to that. That's the meeting I went to." The appeal comes as Washington announces a third round of sanctions against people the US has linked to Russia's seizing of Crimea. The United States Treasury says the US-based assets of one former Ukrainian official, a Crimea-based energy firm and six Crimean leaders, have been frozen. At the same time, Nato released more than 20 satellite images showing up to 40,000 Russian troops massed near Ukraine's eastern border. Ukraine and the West condemn Moscow's annexation of Crimea. The decision to release these images shows just how concerned these countries are about the build up of troops....in what's being called Europe's biggest political confrontation since the end of the Cold War.