WASHINGTON — President Obama said Tuesday that the U.S. is further increasing sanctions against Russia for its continued support of Russian separatists in Ukraine.
The new round of U.S. sanctions targets key banks and a defense technology firm, and came on the heels of new European Union sanctions targeting Russia’s economy on Tuesday.
“In light of Russia’s continuing support for separatists in Ukraine, we took additional steps today to further increase financial pressure on the Russian government,” said Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen. “These actions, along with actions announced today by the European Union, significantly increase the costs to Russia for its efforts to undermine Ukraine’s sovereignty. We are prepared to continue to expand these sanctions if Russia refuses to change course.”
The Treasury Department imposed measures prohibiting U.S. citizens from making transactions with, providing financing for or dealing in new debt of longer than 90 days maturity or new equity with the Bank of Moscow, Russian Agricultural Bank and VTB Bank OAO.
“As a practical matter, this step will severely limit these banks’ access to medium- and long-term U.S. dollar financing, and will impose additional significant costs on the Russian government for its continued activities in Ukraine,” Treasury said.
The U.S. also blocked the assets of United Shipbuilding Corp., a Russian, state-owned company manufacturing defense ordnance and accessories that constructs ships for the Russian navy.