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U.S. Suspends Trade Talks, Military Ties With Russia

The Pentagon has developed relations with the Russian military over the past few years.

The U.S. has suspended trade talks with Moscow and all joint exercises and other programs with the Russian military over the deployment of Russian troops in Ukraine.

While the Pentagon values the relationship it has developed with the Russian military in the last few years, "we have, in light of recent events in Ukraine, put on hold all military-to-military engagements between the U.S. and Russia," Defense Department spokesman Navy Rear Admiral John Kirby said Monday.

Military-to-military engagements include exercises, port visits, meetings and planning conferences, he said.

The U.S. Navy will continue its "routine, previously planned operations and exercises with allies and partners" in Europe and the Mediterranean, Kirby said in the statement published on the Pentagon website.

A spokesperson for the office of the U.S. Trade Representative said Monday that his office had suspended "upcoming bilateral trade and investment engagement with the government of Russia that were part of a move toward deeper commercial and trade ties."

U.S. President Barack Obama has not ruled out a "series" of further economic and diplomatic punitive measures to "isolate Russia" and have a "negative impact on Russia's economy and its status in the world," CBS News reported.

U.S. lawmakers are also considering an aid package for Ukraine that could include $1 billion in loan guarantees and technical assistance for energy reforms, to support elections, combat corruption and assist in the recovery of stolen assets, said Senator Robert Menendez, head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Meanwhile, Britain will not curb trade with Russia, but it is considering visa restrictions and travel bans on Russian officials as part of a joint European Union measure, the BBC reported Monday, citing a document that was photographed as a senior official carried it into a meeting in Downing Street.

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