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)

Recently Played

Latest Headlines

3 hours ago in Music

Taylor Swift is laughing all the way to the bank

Singer Taylor Swift performs during her "1989" world tour at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on Friday, July 10, 2015. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

The "Shake It Off" star has earned $73.5 million from album sales, streaming and publishing revenue and her 1989 world tour - almost double the fortune amassed by country star Kenny Chesney, who is a distant second.

4 hours ago in Entertainment

‘Oregon Trail,’ ‘Sonic’ join World Video Game Hall of Fame

videogamehall2016AP

Last year, "Super Mario Bros." and "Pong" were among the first inductees to the World Video Game Hall of Fame. The class of 2016 is just as strong.

8 hours ago in Entertainment

Seth MacFarlane returning to Fox with new sci-fi series

sethmacfarlane536713938826

The "Family Guy" star is producing a new series set 300 years in the future.

10 hours ago in Music

Kelly Rowland glad she waited to have children

15-overlay-1

The R&B star is thankful she didn't rush into motherhood because she may never have found her "amazing" husband Tim Witherspoon.

11 hours ago in Music

‘You can’t always get what you want,’ Stones tell Trump

rollingstonesREUTERS

The Rolling Stones told Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump on Wednesday to stop using the band's music for his campaign after artists such as Adele and R.E.M. made the same request.