Obama Administration announced additional Sanctions against Russia
nsnbc : The Obama administration has announced additional sanctions against Russia over their dispute over the situation in Ukraine. The announcement was made as US President Obama arrived in the Philippines. The new measures will affect 70 officials including two officials from the inner circle of Russian President Vladimir Putin, informs the White House.
The new set of sanctions also encompass 17 companies connected with the inner circle around the Russian president, as well as additional restrictions against 13 people tied to these companies.
According to the US Treasury Department, the list includes the presidential envoy to the Crima, Oleg Belaventsev, the CEO of Rostech, Sergei Chemezov, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, the Federal Guard Service Eugene Murov, the Chairman of the State Duma’s lower house committee for international affairs Alexei Pushkov, the head of Rosneft Igor Sechin, and the first deputy head of the presidential administration, Vyacheslav Volodin.
The list adds to the list of sanctions which the United States imposed on March 17. The sanctions came in response to the referendum in Crimea on March 16, in which the absolute majority of Crimeans and residents of Sevastopol voted in favor of the accession of Crimea into the Russian Federation.
The list has been expanded several times since then and included, until the latest set of sanctions was added, several dozen people of whom the US authorities claim that the undermine Ukraine’s national sovereignty and/or territorial integrity.
In addition to the sanctions against persons or companies, the USA also suspended its cooperation in combating drug trafficking and cooperation with regard to the space industry, with the exception of the International Space Station.
The US has also imposed a number of restrictions with regard to supplying double purpose goods with possible military application to Russia. US President Obama, who is currently on a visit to Asian countries, announced that the USA is holding broader measures in reserve. The European Union announced that it also expects to announce a new set of sanctions directed against Russian diplomats, reports the Reuters news agency.
The new round of sanctions has been imposed as the situation in southeastern Ukraine continues deteriorating. Violent clashes erupted in several cities in southeastern Ukraine after Kiev deployed 11.000 military troops to the region to launch what it called phase two of its anti-terrorism operation.
Several thousand additional Ukrainian troops including heavy military material are massing along the Ukrainian – Russian border, which prompted Moscow to launch what it described as preparedness drills with, according to some reports up to 40.000 troops.
Yesterday, the pro-reform and pro-federalization protesters in the city of Slaviansk captured three armed men belonging to the Ukrainian Security Services so-called A-Team. Earlier, seven armed men were captured who, according to the OSCE are “military observers”. The protesters and self-defense guards in southeastern Ukraine, however, are asking why OSCE observers are heavily armed.
Today, the mayor of the city of Kharkov, Gennady Kernes, was shot in the back and has been brought to hospital where surgeons are working to save his life. According to some reports, the mayor was shot in the back while bicycling. Other reports state he was jogging. What is certain is that he was shot and is in critical condition.
Mayor Kernes was one of the central figures behind the emergency meeting of mayors and regional governors in Kharkov on February 22, which was held in response to the coup d’ état in Kiev and threats to abolish Russian as official language.
Sanctioning Russia by remote control from the Philippines, US President Obama said:
“The goal is not to go after Mr. Putin personally. The goal is to change his calculus with respect to how the current actions that he’s engaging in Ukraine could have an adverse impact on the Russian economy over the long haul. He added, ”To encourage him to actually walk the walk and not just talk the talk when it comes to diplomatically resolving the crisis in Ukraine.”
Russia, for its part, does not fully recognize the post-coup Kiev government as legal. Moscow stressed that it is using diplomacy and its influence to advise protest leaders and self-defense forces in southeastern Ukraine not to use violence.
Meanwhile, the US-backed government in Kiev has neither disarmed the neo-Nazi Pravy Sector or radicals of the Svoboda party, nor has it disarmed the UNA-UNSO. Protesters in southeastern Ukraine are afraid of the perspective of not being able to defend themselves. The situation has been aggravated and exploded in bloodshed when Kiev deployed over 11.000 heavily armed troops to the region.
Ch/L – nsnbc 28.04.2014