Obama Strikes Back at Russia With Sanctions Over Ukraine

The administration also targeted ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Matryoshka dolls in the likeness of then-Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Obama stand on display at a souvenir stall St. Petersburg in 2010.
National Journal
Jordain Carney
March 17, 2014, 6:57 a.m.

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion is re­tali­at­ing against Rus­sia for Sunday’s se­ces­sion ref­er­en­dum in Crimea by rolling out fin­an­cial sanc­tions against 11 Rus­si­an and Ukrain­i­an of­fi­cials.

Monday’s move would freeze any as­sets un­der U.S. jur­is­dic­tion and block those in the United States from do­ing busi­ness with or sup­port­ing the sanc­tioned in­di­vidu­als. A seni­or ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial said the Rus­si­an of­fi­cials “played a lead­ing role as an ideo­lo­gist, strategist, or an ar­chi­tect of the ref­er­en­dum strategy.”

The Rus­si­an in­di­vidu­als are Vladis­lav Surkov, an aide to Rus­si­an Pres­id­ent Vladi­mir Putin; Sergey Glazyev, a pres­id­en­tial ad­viser to Putin; Le­onid Slut­sky, state Duma deputy; An­drei Klishas, a mem­ber of the Coun­cil of Fed­er­a­tion of the Fed­er­al As­sembly of the Rus­si­an Fed­er­a­tion; Valentina Matvi­y­en­ko, head of the Fed­er­al Coun­cil; Dmitry Ro­goz­in, deputy prime min­is­ter of Rus­sia; and Yelena Mizulina, the state Duma deputy.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion also an­nounced sanc­tions un­der an ex­ec­ut­ive or­der signed earli­er this month against four Ukrain­i­an of­fi­cials: Sergey Ak­sy­onov, who says he is the prime min­is­ter of Crimea; Vladi­mir Kon­stantinov, the speak­er of the Crimean par­lia­ment; Vikt­or Med­ved­chuk, the lead­er of Ukrain­i­an Choice — a pro-Rus­sia or­gan­iz­a­tion; and Vikt­or Ya­nukovych, the ous­ted Ukrain­i­an pres­id­ent.

Sep­ar­ately, the European Uni­on is rolling out sanc­tions against 21 in­di­vidu­als, but that list hasn’t been made pub­lic yet.

Al­though Putin isn’t dir­ectly tar­geted — which a seni­or ad­min­is­tra­tion said would be “highly un­usu­al” at the start of sanc­tions — the of­fi­cial said they “ex­pect that these sanc­tions will be ef­fect­ive, and “¦ that they’ll be ef­fect­ive on a num­ber of dif­fer­ent levels.”

An ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial ad­ded that the sanc­tions tar­get the wealth of “Rus­si­an gov­ern­ment cronies.”

The sanc­tions an­nounce­ment isn’t overly sur­pris­ing. U.S. of­fi­cials — in­clud­ing Sec­ret­ary of State John Kerry — have long warned that if the ref­er­en­dum took place, sanc­tions would be rolled out.

And the in­creas­ing ten­sions between the United States and Rus­sia aren’t likely to go away any­time soon. Putin is ex­pec­ted to use a speech Tues­day to seek a form­al an­nex­a­tion of Crimea.

If Rus­sia takes fur­ther steps, the of­fi­cials said that the United States is pre­pared to ex­pand its sanc­tions, but at the same time they said they are con­tinu­ing to speak with their Rus­si­an coun­ter­parts to dis­cuss if, and how, the situ­ation can be re­solved dip­lo­mat­ic­ally.

What We're Following See More »
STAYING RELEVANT TIL 2020?
Rubio May Run for Reelection After All
5 hours ago
WHY WE CARE
SOCIAL ISSUES ROIL CONGRESS AGAIN
LGBT Amendment Sinks Energy and Water Approps
7 hours ago
THE LATEST

The House voted down the otherwise uncontroversial Energy and Water appropriations bill Thursday after Democrats succeeded in attaching an amendment affirming LGBT job discrimination protections for military contractors. More than 40 Republicans supported the amendment, but when it came to vote on the bill, 130 Republicans joined all but six Democrats to sink the bill. Speaker Paul Ryan said Democrats voting against the bill after securing the amendment shows their intention was to scuttle the process. Democrats, however, blamed other so-called poison-pill amendments for their votes against the bill. Nonetheless, Ryan said he intends to continue the appropriations process.

AKNOWLEDGING THE INEVITABLE
UAW: Time to Unite Behind Hillary
8 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"It's about time for unity," said UAW President Dennis Williams. "We're endorsing Hillary Clinton. She's gotten 3 million more votes than Bernie, a million more votes than Donald Trump. She's our nominee." He called Sanders "a great friend of the UAW" while saying Trump "does not support the economic security of UAW families." Some 28 percent of UAW members indicated their support for Trump in an internal survey.

Source:
SCREENING DELAYS
70,000 Have Missed American Airlines Flights This Year
8 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Airport screening delays have caused more than 70,000 American Airlines customers and 40,000 checked bags to miss their flights this year, an executive for the airline told a U.S. congressional subcommittee on Thursday. A shortage of staff and a surge in air travelers have created a nightmare scenario for the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA), with airport wait times in places like Chicago stretching beyond two hours."

Source:
AP KEEPING COUNT
Trump Clinches Enough Delegates for the Nomination
10 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Donald Trump on Thursday reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign. Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party's unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the convention."

Source:
×