US sanctions target Russian individuals with a warning more could follow

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US sanctions target Russian individuals with a warning more could follow

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President Barack Obama has announced sanctions targeted at 11 Russian and Ukrainian officials blamed for Russia’s military incursion into Crimea.

The US had announced plans to impose sanctions earlier this month but it was only today the individuals were named.

With the announcement came a warning of the potential for more action.

“As an initial step I’m authorising sanctions on Russian officials and it is operating in the arms sector in Russia and individuals who provide material support to senior officials of the Russian Government. And if Russia continues to interfere in Ukraine we stand ready to impose further sanctions.

“I believe there is still a path to resolve this situation diplomatically in a way that addresses the interests of both Russia and Ukraine,” said Obama.

Sergei Aksyonov, the prime minister of Crimea who is not recognised by Ukraine or the US, is on the list. The penalties have been described as the most comprehensive sanctions since the end of the Cold War.

Dimitry Rogozin, Russia’s deputy prime minister, has been targeted and is one of several who are part of President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.

The head of the upper house of the Russian Parliament, Valentino Matviyenko is also on the list. Obama’s order freezes any assets in the US and bans travel into the country.

Dimitry Rogozin reportedly responded on social network site Twitter saying: “Comrade Obama and what will you do with those who have neither accounts or property abroad. Or did you not think of that?”