Obama Announces Drastic Sanctions Against Russia Says he could target whole sectors of Russia's economy By Kevin Spak, Newser Staff Posted Mar 20, 2014 10:31 AM CDT 237 comments Comments President Barack Obama delivers a statement on Ukraine from the White House on Monday, March 17, 2014. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) (Newser) – President Obama may not want to send troops to Ukraine, but he's all too willing to fight Vladimir Putin with dollars. Obama today announced that he is expanding sanctions to yet more individuals both within and outside of the Russian government, and to a bank that has provided them with material support. More ominously, he warned that he'd signed an executive order allowing him to sanction not just people, but entire sectors of Russia's economy. "This is not our preferred outcome. These sanctions would not only have a significant impact on the Russian economy, but could also be disruptive to the global economy," Obama said. "However, Russia must know that further escalation will only isolate it further from the international community." He also said he believed there was still a way Russia could resolve the crisis through diplomacy with Kiev, and urged Congress to approve aid to Ukraine. "Expressions of support are not enough," he told legislators. "We need action."