Obama Authorizes Sanctions on Russia That 'Could Also Be Disruptive to the Global Economy'

March 20, 2014 - 11:21 AM

Obama-Putin

President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet during a G20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico on June 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(CNSNews.com) - After Russian officials laughed off the first round of sanctions imposed by the United States -- and amid fears that Russia may encroach further into Ukraine -- President Obama announced on Thursday that he is "now moving...to impose additional costs on Russia."

Among other steps, Obama said he signed a new executive order on Thursday "that gives us the authority to impose sanctions, not just on individuals, but on key sectors of the Russian economy. This is not our preferred outcome," he said.

"These sanctions would not only have a significant impact on the Russian economy but could also be disruptive to the global economy."

Obama did not specify any sector of the Russian economy, but White House spokesman Jay Carney said yesterday that there would be "additional responses" to the Russian aggression, and he mentioned "the arms sector of Russia" as one possibility.

Obama on Thursday said "further escalation" by Russia will only lead to its further isolation from the international community.

He said Russia must show "respect" for sovereignty and territorial integrity -- as well as "the notion that nations do not simply re-draw borders or make decisions at the expense of their neighbors simply because they are larger or more powerful."

Obama said he continues to be "deeply concerned" about events in Ukraine, including the "illegitimate" move by Russia to annex Crimea and the "dangerous risks of escalation," including threats to southern and eastern Ukraine.

Under the authority of a previous executive order, Obama also announced that he is imposing santions on additional Russian government officials as well as other individuals and a bank that provide material support to the Russian government.