Obama announces sanctions on 11 Russian, Ukrainian officials after Crimea referendum


U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday announced sanctions against seven Russian and four Ukrainian officials after a referendum in Crimea, the White House said.

The sanctions include assets freeze and travel bans on the 11 people, who the United States said are responsible for threatening Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Among those sanctioned are ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin. Vladislav Surkov and Sergey Glazyev, aides to Russian President Vladimir Putin, are also on the blacklist.

“Today I’m announcing a series of measures that will continue to increase the cost on Russia and on those responsible for what is happening in Ukriane,” Obama said in a televised address at the White House.

“If Russia continues to interfere in Ukraine, we stand ready to impose further sanctions,” Obama added.

Obama also said that he believed there is still a path to resolve the situation in Ukraine diplomatically “in a way that addresses the interest of both Russia and Ukraine.”

The Crimean parliament declared independence from Ukraine on Monday, after official results showed 96.77 percent of Crimean voters chose to join Russia in Sunday’s referendum.

Western countries including the United States, France, Germany and Britain rejected the referendum, calling the vote “illegal” and “contrary to the Ukrainian constitution.”

In his telephone talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday, Obama said the United States will not recognize the Crimean referendum, adding that the vote was conducted “under duress of Russian military intervention.”




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