News / Europe

Obama Slaps Toughest Sanctions Yet on Russia

US, EU to Impose New Sanctions on Russia Over Ukrainei
X
July 17, 2014 4:09 AM
Fighting between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine has intensified over the past week, with Ukraine and Russia blaming each other for cross-border attacks. The United States and the European Union have accused Moscow of not doing its part to help restore peace in the region, and they are planning to strengthen economic sanctions against Moscow. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Watch related video report from VOA's Zlatica Hoke.
Mary Alice Salinas

President Obama says the United States is hitting key Russian sectors with new sanctions for its role in the Ukraine conflict.  The U.S. leader accuses Russia of violating Ukraine’s sovereignty and failing to take steps to end the crisis.

Obama says he and European leaders have repeatedly warned Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop the flow of fighters and weapons across the border into Ukraine, to urge pro-Russian separatists to release hostages, agree to a cease-fire and enter mediated talks.

Instead, Obama says, President Putin has increased support for separatists, a violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty.

Given its continued provocations in Ukraine, today I have approved a new set of sanctions on some of Russia’s largest companies and financial institutions,” says Obama.

The new sanctions target parts of Russia’s financial, energy and defense sectors.  They include freezing the assets of several Russian defense companies and blocking new financing to major energy companies, like Novatek and Rosneft.  They also hit eight Russian firms that produce weaponry, including small arms, mortar shells and tanks.

“These sanctions are significant, but they are also targeted, designed to have the maximum impact on Russia while also limiting the effects on American companies or those of our allies,” says Obama.

The White House says it approved the sanctions after consulting closely with its European partners, who also are considering tougher measures against Russia.

The U.S. announcement comes amid Pentagon reports that Russia has increased its troop presence along the Ukraine border to at least 10,000, up from about 1,000 troops last month.

“What we are expecting is that the Russian leadership will see once again that its actions in Ukraine have consequences, including a weakening Russian economy and increasing diplomatic isolation,” says Obama.   

One senior administration official describes the sanctions package as a “broad, flexible and potent” tool.  And the official warned it could be used to add more pressure on Russia, if it fails to take concrete steps to end the crisis.

  • Rescuers remove damaged materials from a shattered five-story building that was damaged by a recent shelling, near the eastern Ukrainian town of Slovyansk, July 16, 2014.
  • Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk inspects positions held by Ukrainian servicemen, Slovyansk, July 16, 2014.
  • Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk inspects weapons seized from pro-Russian separatists as he meets with Ukrainian servicemen in the eastern town of Slovyansk, July 16, 2014.
  • Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk inspects weapons seized from pro-Russian separatists as he meets with Ukrainian servicemen, Slovyansk, July 16, 2014.
  • Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk (left) speaks to residents during a meeting, in Slovyansk, July 16, 2014.
  • A new volunteer of the Ukrainian self-defense battalion "Azov" holds a sunflower during a ceremony. He will take an oath of allegiance to his country during the ceremony, in Kyiv, July 16, 2014.
  • New volunteers of the Ukrainian self-defence battalion "Azov" walk in front of Saint Sophia Cathedral before taking their oath of allegiance to their country, in Kyiv, July 16, 2014.

You May Like

Ukraine: Mysterious 'Roaming Tank' Reportedly Takes Aim at Smugglers

Ukraine's TV, print media, Facebook abuzz with reports a 'roaming tank' is on the loose, destroying vehicles of those involved in smuggling More

US Wildlife Service Begins Probe of Killing of Cecil the Lion

Minnesota man accused of killing beast is in hiding, has been asked to contact US officials; White House to review extradition petition More

Video Kerry Five-Nation Tour to Cover Security, Iran Nuclear Deal

Secretary of state will visit Egypt, Qatar, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam to discuss security issues, Iran nuclear deal, Trans-Pacific Partnership More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
July 17, 2014 12:34 PM
If anyone should have sanctions against them its the USA. Messed up enough countries that i dont even have enough fingers to count them. Just buy stuff straight from china, no US middle man. LoL

by: Alex
July 17, 2014 11:27 AM
Well, Vladimir Putin condemns latest US sanctions against Russia, whilst his lap-dog Dmitry Medvedev considers them to be “something useful for the Russian economy”. Today the Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev declared at a cabinet meeting in Kremlin that economic sanctions imposed on Rusia by the US and the UE were not harmful, but even something useful for the Russian economy, with what was seemed everyone else agreed.

It seems that Russia is governed by absolute idiots. What can be said about the mentality of ordinary Russian people, if their highest leaders behave yourselves like absolute idiots. So the U.S. and the EU can safely introduce a new echelon of sectoral sanctions against Russia – if previous sanctions were so helpful and benefited for Russians, and Russians do liked them so much, then these new ones will be more useful, more beautiful, more beneficial, and will contribute to maximum prosperity of the Russian economy. So, do not hesitate to decidedly impose more new sectorial sanctions against Russia – their Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will be very happy for that.

by: Gennady from: Russia, volga Region
July 17, 2014 10:38 AM
I agree with President Putin
– that the latest USA’s sanctions against Russia is blackmail in its most evident form,
- that any sanctions from the West in the last 96 years of Russian history, starting from 1917, never ever yielded expected results. Russia proved to be able to exist without the West for decades. This time, I am also sure Russia will survive without American popcorn, corn syrup, chewing gum and chicken legs.
– that the sanctions will fireback at the West, the USA including. President Obama, announcing the latest round of sanctions, should have thought twice when in the first quarter of 2014 the Quartely growth of the real GDP in the USA was catastrophic and plummeted by -2,9%
I expect that the second quarter will bring the same result for the USA's GDP..

by: Bill from: China
July 17, 2014 4:52 AM
Americans can not do any big harm to Russia ever.Americans are only be laughed that the country is that only bully the vulnerable, It's a coward.

by: Guillermo Mannucci from: Argentina
July 16, 2014 11:19 PM
Til now, when the Russians Autorities, see President Putin, broke their vestments for a very small projectile their own military forces detonate into russian soil to justify a new war againts the sovereignt and democratic self dependent state and people of Ukraine, showing a Presidents Putins so faked interested in self determination far from their territory, that he dont respect, if he and the common russians really matters international laws, so he also can to return the undoubtleble sovereign - spannish: archipielago- of the undiscussible Japanese northern islands of Chisima Retto, also knowed by their appelative name of Kuriles. Chisima Retto are the continuity, by the north of Japans island territory.
Japan in a few time in the after 1945 postwar give the islands to USSR, but not as war repaires, because their Royal Majesties from the Emperor and Emperatrice Kingdom of Japan or the Japanese Empirer Hirohito, theire never were in direct acts of war; for all that state of things, its in my opinion, imperative that the USA, and their allies of the International Community, respald the Japanese territory demands to Moskow, for the reintegrity of Chisima Retto to Japan in the short time, tightly and inconditional. I feel a kind and profound respect into my own, for the Government, People of Japan and their civilization. Japaneses have the complete right to receive back what its of their own.

by: Igor from: Russia
July 16, 2014 10:42 PM
Hey Obama, are you ready to receive new Russian sanctions against the US government, individuals including you, companies and other sectors? We also have some interesting things for you all concerning China, India, Latin Ameria Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Syria...You are incapability in foreign affairs.

by: Alex
July 16, 2014 8:59 PM
It is funny to watch how Putin is hastily strengthening alliance of BRICS countries, trying to make it as a counterweight to NATO, inciting the countries of the third world against the U.S. world dominance, creating a global anti-crisis fund, returning permanently to Cuba to restore the Russian military bases there, whilst Obama being in great despair that Putin has crept up on 250 km to the United States, is desperately trying to thwart Putin’s plans, persuading the EU to take actions, here and there putting traps for him in the form of point sanctions, hoping that it would work. But Putin as irrepressible half-mad man is pressing forward despite any sanctions. I should not be surprised to know if tomorrow that Putin will unleash a wholly war against the "fascist" United States. How it can be that so many highly respected people in the world can not stop one “Kleine Zaches gennant Zinnober”.

by: meanbill from: USA
July 16, 2014 6:31 PM
Obama "quote" said it; .... "The US has the greatest military forces in the world" ... and he now showed Russia just what that means, (nothing), when it can't defeat anybody, and the country with the greatest military forces in the world, is reduced to only issuing sanctions against Russia, cause it can't do anything else?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs