News

Obama expands U.S. sanctions on Russians

Obama expands U.S. sanctions on Russians

MORE SANCTIONS: President Barack Obama makes a statement on Ukraine, Thursday, March 20, on the South Lawn at the White House in Washington, before he departed for Florida. President Barack Obama said the U.S. is levying a new round of economic sanctions on individuals in Russia, both inside and outside the government, in retaliation for the Kremlin's actions in Ukraine. He also said he has also signed a new executive order that would allow the U.S. to sanction key sectors of the Russian economy. Photo: Associated Press/Charles Dharapak

(Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Thursday announced further sanctions against prominent Russians and cleared the way for possible sanctions on key sectors of the Russian economy in response to Moscow’s seizure of the Crimea region from Ukraine.

The U.S. president, speaking at the White House, said Russia’s threats to southern and eastern Ukraine posed a serious risk of escalation of the crisis in the region.

“We’re imposing sanctions on more senior officials of the Russian government. In addition, we are today sanctioning a number of other individuals with substantial resources and influence who provide material support to the Russian leadership, as well as a bank that provides material support to these individuals.”

The White House, which on Monday announced a first round of sanctions against 11 Russians and Ukrainians it said were involved with the Crimea annexation, was expected to detail the targets of the expanded sanctions shortly after Obama spoke.

Obama said he had signed a new executive order expanding the U.S. government’s authority to take measures against economic sectors.

“This is not our preferred outcome… However, Russia must know that further escalation will only isolate it further from the international community,” the president said. He was speaking on the White House south lawn before leaving on a trip to Florida.

“Over the last several days, we’ve continued to be deeply concerned by events in Ukraine,” Obama said, citing what he called an illegal referendum in Crimea, an illegitimate move to annex the territory Crimea, and “dangerous risks of escalation, including threats” to Ukraine.

“These are all choices that the Russian government has made, choices that have been rejected by the international community as well as the government of Ukraine. And because of these choices the United States is today moving, as we said we would, to impose additional costs on Russia,” he said.

(Reporting by Steve Holland and Jeff Mason. Additional reporting by Susan Heavey. Writing by David Storey)

Recent Headlines

54 mins ago in Music

Blake Shelton teams up with Oak Ridge Boys for next album

Fresh
blakeshelton

The "Gonna" hitmaker hasn't announced a title or release date - but he's got quite a backing band.

2 hours ago in Viral Videos

Elton John carpool karaoke

Fresh
19-overlay

James Corden asks Elton John to help him navigate Los Angeles on a rainy day.

5 hours ago in Entertainment

‘Star Wars’ breaks new record

24-overlay-2

The sci-fi epic, directed by J.J. Abrams, previously became the highest-grossing release in North American film history, after recently passing the $760.5 million "Avatar" hauled in in 2009.

5 hours ago in Entertainment

PewDiePie, others set to star in YouTube’s first original shows

youtube

YouTube's viral video stars, many of whom have a fan following in the millions, are set to appear in original movies and a show, as the video site attempts to attract users to its paid service.

5 hours ago in Viral Videos

WATCH: Bern Your Enthusiasm

22-overlay-4

Despite his friends' best efforts, Sen. Bernie Sanders (Larry David) keeps finding ways to upset voters in Iowa.