Foreign ministers discuss increasing sanctions against Russia

World Today

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Europe to discuss the possibility of increasing sanctions targeting Russia if the situation in Eastern Ukraine does not improve.

Kerry began his visit by attending a NATO meeting that approved a new interim rapid response force on Tuesday to counter the perceived growing threat from Russia. CCTV America’s Jack Barton reported from NATO headquarters in Brussels.

Foreign ministers discuss increasing sanctions against Russia

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Europe to discuss the possibility of increasing sanctions targeting Russia if the situation in Eastern Ukraine does not improve. Kerry began his visit by attending a NATO meeting that approved a new interim rapid response force on Tuesday to counter the perceived growing threat from Russia. CCTV America's Jack Barton reported from NATO headquarters in Brussels.

Kerry joined other NATO foreign ministers in Brussels for a meeting that began with an ominous warning from the organization’s new secretary general.

“Russia is trying to replace the rule of law with the rule of force,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.

Kerry has signaled further sanctions may be required if the situation in Eastern Ukraine does not improve.

“Russia has not lived up to its promise to end all support for armed separatists, withdraw troops and weapons, release hostage, allow OSCE inspectors to do their jobs and respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territory,” Kerry said.

On Tuesday, NATO announced an interim rapid response force would be combat ready next month, with a full force operational in 2016.

The so-called ‘spearhead’ group is designed to bolster confidence among NATO members in Eastern Europe.

The rapid response group is intended to be a brigade-size force of up to 5,000 troops backed by air and naval support that can deploy to trouble spots at short notice.

On Wednesday, Kerry will join a special meeting at NATO headquarters on efforts to fight the Islamist militant group ISIL in Syria and Iraq. The meeting will be attended by about 60 countries.