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Published: Wednesday April 16, 2014 MYT 2:35:09 AM
Updated: Wednesday April 16, 2014 MYT 2:35:09 AM

U.S. says more Russia sanctions not likely before Thursday meeting on Ukraine

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department said on Tuesday it anticipates more Ukraine-related sanctions on Russia, but suggested no action was likely before a diplomatic meeting in Geneva this week.

Envoys from Russia, Ukraine, the European Union and the United States were scheduled to meet on Thursday to discuss the situation in Ukraine.

"Thursday is the next opportunity to have a diplomatic discussion and I think it's safe to lean into the unlikelihood of making (sanctions) announcements before Thursday," spokeswoman Jen Psaki said at a news briefing.

It was important to get Ukraine and Russia together for the talks, she said.

"This is really the first opportunity to engage with them at the same table," Psaki said.

The crisis in Ukraine deepened over the weekend when pro-Russian separatists seized government buildings and facilities in the eastern part of the country. Ukrainian forces are fighting to oust them.

Washington wants to give diplomacy a chance, Psaki said, but is prepared to impose additional, farther-reaching sanctions on Moscow.

A new round of U.S. sanctions against Russia is likely to target influential people or firms in its business sectors, such as energy, engineering and financial services, as spelled out in President Barack Obama's executive order last month.

"They're all on the table," Psaki said.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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