United States Vice President Joe Biden warned Russia on Wednesday that it must respect international order and abide by the rules, or it will face growing costs and isolation.
The current crisis in Ukraine started with Russia's acute violation of rules that must be upheld, reported Xinhua citing Biden alleging in an address at the Atlantic Council, a Washington-based think tank, a week after his visit to the Ukrainian capital Kiev.
"What Russia has done violates not just Ukrainian sovereignty but the fundamental principle that European borders cannot, will not be changed through political intimidation or military force," said Biden.
He said the US and its partners in Europe have to be "resolute" in imposing sanctions on Russia, noting that it is the reality that "costs are going to be shared in some cases disproportionately".
Both the US and the European Union slapped fresh sanctions on more Russian officials and firms Monday, and threatened to target its key sectors of economy in the event of further destabilisation moves in eastern Ukraine.
But some European officials have expressed misgivings that the sanctions on Russia could backfire if Moscow cut exports of natural gas to Europe, which is heavily dependent on Russia for energy.
Biden urged European countries to work to diversify energy supplies in a bid to ensure energy security amid the Ukraine crisis. "Russia should not be able to use its resource as a political weapon against its neighbors," he added.