Putin facing new sanctions from the U.S.
President Obama announced new sanctions on Russia a few minutes ago from the White House. The sanctions will focus on Russia’s energy, finance and arms sectors, in an attempt to use Russia’s economy as leverage to compel Moscow to stop fueling the deadly conflict in Ukraine.
More recently, the European Union slapped sanctions on Russia. “Russia is once again isolating itself from the international community,” Obama said, claiming that the U.S. sanctions will have an “even bigger bite” thanks to action by the Europeans.
The sanctions include targeting of the Bank of Moscow, the Russian Agricultural Bank and VTB Bank. The Treasury Department also is targeting the United Shipbuilding Corp. During the speech Obama ripped into Russia for supporting the separatists and encouraging them, train them, and arm them. He said forces inside Russia are launching artillery strikes into Ukraine, which he called a “major violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty.” The European penalties are similar to sanctions imposed by the U.S. just two weeks ago targeting other big Russian banks, and energy and defense companies.
Sanctions have so far failed to stem the flow of weapons or the fighting, which appeared to enter a dangerous new phase Tuesday on reports that Ukraine’s government in the last 48 hours used short-range ballistic missiles against the rebels.