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WASHINGTON, June 26 (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was not speaking about the possible timing of fresh U.S. sanctions when he said Russia had "hours" to move on disarming Ukraine separatists, the State Department said on Thursday.
"The secretary wasn't outlining specific timing for additional sanctions but underscoring the need that this needs to happen quickly," spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters.
"We've been very clear that we remain prepared to impose additional sanctions, including sectoral, should circumstances warrant," she also said at her daily briefing. "We have in place the infrastructure to do this very quickly if we want to."
U.S. officials have threatened additional sanctions against Russia in response to what they say is Moscow's increased support to Ukrainian separatists, including the provision of Russian tanks and other weaponry and allowing separatist fighters to cross into eastern Ukraine.
Separatist rebellions erupted in eastern Ukraine in early April after street protests in Kiev toppled Moscow-backed leader Viktor Yanukovich, and Russia in turn annexed the Crimean peninsula. Eastern rebels have called for union with Russia. (Reporting by Arshad Mohammed and Susan Heavey; Editing by Bernard Orr)