President Barack Obama announced a series of measures today that will continue to increase the cost on Russia and on those responsible for what is happening in Ukraine. As authorized by the Executive Order (E.O. 13660), issued on March 6, the United States is imposing sanctions on specific individuals responsible for undermining the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and government of Ukraine.
Today, President Obama signed a new executive order that authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to impose sanctions on named officials of the Russian government, any individual or entity that operates in the Russian arms industry, and any designated individual or entity that acts on behalf of, or that provides material or other support to, any senior Russian government official. We 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. We stand ready to use these authorities in a direct and targeted fashion as events warrant.
In addition to the new executive order, the Treasury Department today imposed sanctions on four other individuals under E.O. 13660 for their actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine and in undermining the Government of Ukraine. They are 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.
As President Obama said today, “We have been guided by a fundamental principle -- the future of Ukraine must be decided by the people of Ukraine. That means Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected, and international law must be upheld.”
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.
“Going forward, we can calibrate our response based on whether Russia chooses to escalate or to de-escalate the situation. Now, I believe there’s still a path to resolve this situation diplomatically in a way that addresses the interest of both Russia and Ukraine. That includes Russia pulling its forces in Crimea back to their bases, supporting the deployment of additional international monitors in Ukraine, and engaging in dialogue with the Ukrainian government, which has indicated its openness to pursuing constitutional reform as they move forward towards elections this spring," President Obama said.
“But throughout this process, we’re going to stand firm in our unwavering support for Ukraine…the United States stands with the people of Ukraine and their right to determine their own destiny.”
For more information:
- Statement by the President on Ukraine, March 17, 2014
- Background Briefing by Senior Administration Officials on Ukraine, March 17, 2014
- White House Fact Sheet on Ukraine-Related Sanctions
- Executive Order -- Blocking Property of Additional Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine
- Treasury Designates Four Individuals Involved in Violating Sovereignty in Ukraine
- United States Rejects ‘Referendum’ in Crimean Region of Ukraine