Just five days ahead of crunch talks in Geneva, the G7 countries have raised the spectre of further sanctions on Russia if it continues to escalate the crisis in Ukraine.
So far the US and the EU have imposed sanctions against Russia in response to its annexation of Crimea.
The G7 which includes the US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Great Britain is now talking tough.
“The purpose is to make it clear to Russia that they need to step back,” explained US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, continuing, “But it was equally clear that if they don’t, if they step forward, if they do things that are illegal that violate the sovereignty of Ukraine, that there will be unity in the world in responding to that.”
Meanwhile, the Kremlin moved to calm fears it would turn off gas to and through Ukraine. The country receives half of its gas from Russia, some of which is transported to EU countries.
It comes after Moscow demanded that the interim government in Kyiv pay back the money owed in unpaid gas bills. However, Russia has hiked its prices since the change in government.
The effort to resolve the gas crisis, could be a sign that Russia is seeking a diplomatic solution in Ukraine.