President Barack Obama said on Thursday the United States will join the European Union in imposing tougher sanctions on Russia’s financial, energy and defense sectors after Moscow sent troops into eastern Ukraine last month, and will provide details on the new steps on Friday.
“These measures will increase Russia’s political isolation as well as the economic costs to Russia, especially in areas of importance to President (Vladimir) Putin and those close to him,” Obama said in a statement. (Reporting by Roberta Rampton and Steve Holland; Editing by Bill Trott)
Below, Obama’s full statement on the sanctions:
Today, we join the European Union in announcing that we will intensify our coordinated sanctions on Russia in response to its illegal actions in Ukraine. I have said from the very beginning of this crisis that we want to see a negotiated political solution that respects Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Together with G-7 and European partners and our other Allies, we have made clear that we are prepared to impose mounting costs on Russia. We are implementing these new measures in light of Russia’s actions to further destabilize Ukraine over the last month, including through the presence of heavily armed Russian forces in eastern Ukraine. We are watching closely developments since the announcement of the ceasefire and agreement in Minsk, but we have yet to see conclusive evidence that Russia has ceased its efforts to destabilize Ukraine.
We will deepen and broaden sanctions in Russia’s financial, energy, and defense sectors. These measures will increase Russia’s political isolation as well as the economic costs to Russia, especially in areas of importance to President Putin and those close to him. My Administration will outline the specifics of these new sanctions tomorrow.
The international community continues to seek a genuine negotiated solution to the crisis in Ukraine. I encourage President Putin to work with Ukraine and other international partners, within the context of the Minsk agreement and without setting unreasonable conditions, to reach a lasting resolution to the conflict. As I said last week, if Russia fully implements its commitments, these sanctions can be rolled back. If, instead, Russia continues its aggressive actions and violations of international law, the costs will continue to rise.