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More US-EU Sanctions on Russia
Jul 21, 2014

Struggling to defuse the persistent crisis in Ukraine, both the U.S. and European Union imposed new economic sanctions on Russia with US President Barack 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.

The penalties announced by the US are broad in scope, targeting two major Russian energy firms, a pair of powerful financial institutions, eight arms firms and four individuals. Leaders in Europe, which has a far deeper economic relationship with Russia than the U.S., were more restrained, ordering investment and development banks on the continent to suspend financing agreements with Russia.

In a decision that could affect Russian oligarchs or members of the Kremlin inner circle, the EU leaders also asked their foreign ministers to consider targeting people or companies involved in the unrest in Ukraine.

The US and EU bolstered sanctions against Russia over its alleged support of separatists in Ukraine, drawing an angry rebuke from Russia which said the measures amounted to blackmail. Russia warned that it does not intend to tolerate blackmail and reserve the right to take retaliatory measures against the US. Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier warned that sanctions would inflict very serious damage on the already tattered US-Russia relationship.

Ukraine and the West have accused Russia of fomenting the insurgency by sending troops and weapons across its border with the former Soviet republic, something Moscow denies. The insurgency was sparked by Russia's annexation of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine earlier this year.


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