The United States has imposed tighter economic restrictions on the Crimean Peninsula, following Russia's occupation and purported annexation earlier this year. President Barack Obama joined Europe in maintaining pressure on Russia with the announcement of additional sanctions on separatist leaders in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, the Night Wolves motorcycle gang, and other entities that have supported the separatists.
Specifically, President Obama signed an Executive Order barring new investment and trade with Crimea and freezing the property of people or businesses found to be operating in the region or helping the so-called leadership. The U.S. also targeted 24 individuals and entities involved in the pro-Russia uprising in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, barring their entry into the United States and freezing any assets that are subject to U.S. jurisdiction.
The Executive Order, said President Obama in a written statement, is intended to provide clarity to U.S. corporations doing business in the region and reaffirm that the United States will not accept Russia's occupation and purported annexation of Crimea.
Russia's economy is already reeling from capital flight and a depreciating currency fueled in part by falling oil prices, economic mismanagement, coordinated western sanctions and economic isolation brought about by its military interference in Ukraine.
The United States again calls on Russia to end its occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea, cease its support to separatists in eastern Ukraine, and fulfill its commitments under the Minsk agreements.
The United States will continue to work closely with allies and partners in Europe and internationally to respond to events in Ukraine and to support Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well its democratic development reform efforts. Whether sanctions are eventually removed or additional sanctions are imposed is entirely dependent on Russia's actions in Ukraine, including Crimea.