President Obama signed an executive order this morning authorizing expanded sanctions on Russian government officials as well as “any individual or entity that operates in the Russian arms industry.”
“I find that the actions and policies of the Government of the Russian Federation with respect to Ukraine — including the recent deployment of Russian Federation military forces in the Crimea region of Ukraine — undermine democratic processes and institutions in Ukraine; threaten its peace, security, stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity; and contribute to the misappropriation of its assets, and thereby constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States,” Obama said in the letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate President Joe Biden. “The order blocks the property and interests in property of persons listed in an Annex to the order. The order also blocks the property and interests in property of persons determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State.”
The order also blocks anyone called out for financial sanctions from entering the U.S.
The White House added a morning statement on the sanctions to Obama’s schedule.
In a statement from press secretary Jay Carney, the administration said they “fashioned these sanctions to impose costs on named individuals who wield influence in the Russian government and those responsible for the deteriorating situation in Ukraine.”
“In response to the Russian government’s actions contributing to the crisis in Ukraine, this new E.O. lists seven Russian government officials who are being designated for sanctions. These individuals are Vladislav Surkov, Sergey Glazyev, Leonid Slutsky, Andrei Klishas, Valentina Matviyenko, Dmitry Rogozin, and Yelena Mizulina,” Carney said.
Surkov and Glazyev are Putin aides. Slutsky is being sanctioned for his status as a State Duma deputy, where he is Chairman of the Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration, and Relations with Compatriots. Klishas is being sanctioned for his status as a Member of the Council of Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and as Chairman of the Federation Council Committee of Constitutional Law, Judicial, and Legal Affairs, and the Development of Civil Society.
Matviyenko is being sanctioned for her status as Head of the Federation Council. Rogozin is being sanctioned for his status as the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation. Mizulina is being sanctioned for her status as a State Duma Deputy.
The Treasury Department today imposed sanctions on four listed in Obama’s March 6 executive order: Crimea-based separatist leaders Sergey Aksyonov and Vladimir Konstantinov; former Ukrainian presidential chief of staff Viktor Medvedchuk; and former President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych.
“Today’s actions send a strong message to the Russian government that there are consequences for their actions that violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, including their actions supporting the illegal referendum for Crimean separation. The United States, together with international partners, will continue to stand by the Ukrainian government to ensure that costs are imposed on Crimean separatists and their Russian backers,” Carney said.
“Today’s actions also serve as notice to Russia that unless it abides by its international obligations and returns its military forces to their original bases and respects Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, the United States is prepared to take additional steps to impose further political and economic costs.”
The European Union announced sanctions against 21 Russians.