US Treasury chief presses Russia on Ukraine peace

June 19, 2014
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German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble , left, and US Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew attend a press conference after a meeting in Berlin, Germany, Thursday June 19, 2014. (AP Photo/dpa, Wolfgang Kumm)

BERLIN (AP) — The U.S. is keeping up pressure on Russia to help a peace plan announced by Ukraine's president, with U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew making clear that Moscow will face further punishment if it keeps backing anti-government militants.

The U.S. and European Union have imposed sanctions on some Russian officials but stopped short of full-fledged economic sanctions for Russia's actions regarding Ukraine. Lew stressed the importance of U.S.-European coordination after meeting German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Thursday.

Lew says "Russia has a fundamental choice to make" and must support a peace plan rather than continuing support for separatists in Ukraine and allowing weapons to cross the border.

He says "Russia has to understand that if it goes the other way, there will have to be additional consequences."

Schaeuble agreed.