President Barack Obama on Monday froze the U.S. assets of seven Russian officials, including top advisers to President Vladimir Putin, for their support of Crimea's vote to secede from Ukraine in the most comprehensive sanctions against Russia since the end of the Cold War.
The Treasury Department also is imposing sanctions on four Ukrainians — including former President Viktor Yanukovych, a former top Ukrainian presidential adviser and two Crimea-based separatist leaders — under existing authority under a previous Obama order. Senior administration officials also said they are working to identify what they called "Russian government cronies" to target the assets of those supporting the Crimea unrest, including individuals working in the arms industry.
Obama was to make a statement Monday from the White House.
The administration officials said Putin wasn't sanctioned despite his support of the Crimean referendum because the U.S. doesn't usually begin with heads of state. But the officials, speaking to reporters on a conference call on the condition they not be quoted by name, say those sanctioned are very close to Putin and that the sanctions are "designed to hit close to home."
The U.S. announcement came shortly after the European Union announced travel bans and asset freezes on 21 people they have linked to the unrest in Crimea. Obama administration officials say there is some overlap between the U.S. and European list, which wasn't immediately made public.
"Today's actions also serve as notice to Russia that unless it abides by its international obligations and returns its military forces to their original bases and respects Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, the United States is prepared to take additional steps to impose further political and economic costs," the statement said.....snip~
U.S. announces sanctions against Russian officials
Associated Press – 27 mins ago <<<<< March 17 2014.
The US and EU have gone ahead with the Sanctions.....also the US is accusing the Russians of Rigging the vote. Team Obama says there is some concrete evidence that some ballots for the referendum arrived pre-marked in many cities and "there are massive anomalies in the vote." Yet they could not bring forth any evidence with the Allegation.
Now we have threatened Putin that if doesn't pull out with his troops we will continue with more Sanctions against him. Now will Putin follow thru with what he has told us? Do you think these sanctions that target people close to Putin. Will stop or persuade Putin to change course?