US Imposes Toughest Sanctions Yet on Russia
But Europe is more restrained
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 16, 2014 7:01 PM CDT
President Obama enters the briefing room to speak about the sanctions today.   (Jacquelyn Martin)

(Newser) – The US and Europe imposed new economic sanctions on Russia today, with President Obama declaring that Russian leaders must see that their actions supporting rebels "have consequences." Though the American and European sanctions were coordinated, they nonetheless exposed fissures in what the West has tried to project as a united front in its months-long effort to isolate Russian President Vladimir Putin. Still, the penalties announced by the White House were its harshest yet, reports Reuters, targeting two major Russian energy firms, a pair of powerful financial institutions, eight arms firms, and four individuals. (The sanctions did not hit Gazprom, the world's biggest producer of natural gas.) Leaders in Europe, which has a far deeper economic relationship with Russia, were more restrained, ordering investment and development banks on the continent to suspend financing agreements with Moscow.

Even the US penalties stopped short of the most stringent actions the West has threatened, which would entail fully cutting off key sectors of Russia's economy. But officials said those steps were still on the table if Russia fails to abide by the West's demands to stop support for pro-Russian insurgents who have destabilized swaths of eastern Ukraine. "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," Obama said as he announced the penalties from the White House.

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Jul 17, 2014 2:35 PM CDT
Why is the dithering, spineless individual we have as President meddling in other countries affairs? Given his "community organizer" position hardly qualifies him to do much of anything , similar to his record so far. Given that the hash-tag President supported Syrian rebels against their elected Gov't, he's talking out of both sides of his mouth. The best you could possibly say is that he is truly " a credit to his race". Really shows what the Demo's are made of.
Jul 17, 2014 6:57 AM CDT
The US government should lift it's sanctions against it's own people. Let the soviets straighten out their own problems. We've got countless problems right here in the USA...starting with our ever crumbling economy.
Jul 17, 2014 6:38 AM CDT
Israel is the real enemy of the American people. They commit all and any crimes they want. Where are the sanctions Mr President? Are you afraid to speak the truth because the Democratic candidates will not be funded by AIPAC? It's a disgrace what is going on to the Palestinians and only word of support from your office. Shame on you.