By Alexandra Jaffe - 04/13/14 11:48 AM EDT
United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power said Sunday that reported attacks by pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukrainian cities over the past few days appear to be coordinated with the Russian government. If the clashes continue, the United States may increase sanctions she added.
Pro-Russian forces have overtaken government buildings and launched attacks on a handful of eastern Ukrainian cities in recent days, prompting Ukrainian officials to engage in an “anti-terrorist” campaign to respond. Power echoed prevailing suspicions that the Russian government is involved in the attacks.
She asserted that the sanctions already imposed on Russia have had a significant impact, noting that they’ve hit the country’s stock market and currency, and “investors are fleeing.”
“The president has made clear that, depending on Russian behavior, sectoral sanctions against energy, banking, mining could be on the table, and there's a lot in between,” Power said.
She added: “So, I think we've seen that the sanctions can bite. And if actions like the kind that we've seen over the last few days continue, you're going to see a ramping up of those sanctions.”