White House press secretary Jay Carney on Wednesday condemned the storming of the Crimean navy headquarters by pro-Russian forces, saying that Russia was “directly responsible for any casualties” that occur in the conflict.
Hundreds of pro-Russian supporters took over the navy headquarters in the Crimean port of Sevastopol, the latest escalation of violence in the wake of Russian President Vladimir Putin annexing Crimea.
Ukraine's acting president has called on the separatist forces to release hostages or face an “adequate response.”
Just a day earlier, a Ukrainian soldier was killed in a clash with pro-Russian supporters.
For his part, Carney declined to say whether the takeover of the navy headquarters would prompt a new wave of sanctions from the Obama administration.
President Obama’s top spokesman promised “more action” if Russia expanded its reach into Ukraine but would not detail a timeline for additional sanctions.
Earlier this week, the Obama administration issued travel bans and froze the U.S. assets of 11 senior Russian and Ukrainian officials.
Carney insisted that Putin’s actions of late “will not result in a stronger Russia, but a more isolated Russia."