Obama Administration

Obama Hits Russia With Big Sanctions, Putin Says Relations Near 'Dead End'

|

The Obama administration has hit Russia with what Reuters describes as the "toughest" and "most wide-ranging sanctions yet" over the nation's ongoing instigation of instability in Ukraine.

In light of renewed bloodshed, President Obama criticized that the Kremlin has so far not taken real steps to rein in militias that are trying to capture eastern Ukraine for Russia. Additionally, reports indicate that as of yesterday, Russia is again massing as many as 12,000 troops along their border.

The Treasury Department assured in a press release that its latest "actions do more than build upon previous steps to impose costs on separatists and the Russian government. By imposing sanctions on entities within the financial services and energy sectors, Treasury has increased the cost of economic isolation for key Russian firms that value their access to medium- and long-term U.S. sources of financing."

The department "imposed sanctions that prohibit U.S. persons from providing new financing to two major Russian financial institutions (Gazprombank OAO and VEB) and two Russian energy firms (OAO Novatek and Rosneft), limiting their access to  U.S. capital markets."

Also "cut off… from the U.S. financial system and the U.S. economy" are eight arms firms that are believed to be supplying the separatist forces with weapons. Four high-ranking officials, including a personal aide to Putin and the head of Russia's Federal Security Service (the modern incarnation of the KGB) are on the list as well.

European Union countries coordinated with the U.S. and created sanctions of their own.

Putin responded to the situation yesterday warning, "I am certain that this is harmful to the U.S. Administration and American people's long-term strategic national interests. … Sanctions have a boomerang effect and without any doubt they will push U.S.-Russian relations into a dead end, and cause very serious damage." Putin was at a two-day meeting with other "BRICS" countries – Brazil, India, China, and South Africa – working to "prevent the harassment of countries that do not agree with some foreign policy decisions made by the U.S. and their allies," as he put it.

In other Ukraine-related news, NATO just concluded some military exercises on the Black Sea. And, apparently a Malaysian passenger airline has crashed along the Russian border earlier today.

For more Reason coverage of Ukraine, click here

NEXT: Does Marijuana Legalization Make Pot Smokers Employable?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Guess it’s time to start SDI again?

    1. No. Because Smart Diplomacy.

      1. They told me that if I didn’t vote for Obama, our relations with foreign countries would be strained. And they were right!

  2. Malaysian jetliner crashed??? The damn thing was shot down by a missile. Everyone presumed dead. Horrible.

  3. Apparently those MANPADS do reach 30,000ft.

    1. According to teh newz, the Ukrainian Interior Minister says it was a Buk missile. Browsing around it has an altitude of at least 20 kilometers, which is about 65 thousand feet.

  4. Ah, “Star Wars”… It’s feeling more like the 80’s every day.

    1. Thread fail…

    2. I refuse to buy hair “product”. REFUSE.

      1. Based on all the Wall Street clones I see every day, “hair product” has never gone out of style.

        1. Yeah, but there’s a difference between an excess of pomade and an excess of Aquanet.

          1. I am just amazed that men’s hair styles froze around 1995 and have not changed since. I would have sworn that the greased-up chitinous look would have worn out its welcome about 15 years ago, but nope.

            1. Did you not have an “intentionally disheveled but desperately trying not to look intentional” period?

              There seemed to be an effort to use product that didn’t make the hair look like it was fixed in place.

              1. No I had “New Wave” period that turned into an Industrial look followed by 15 years of shaving close to the skin. Some of the older looks required a bit of product, to be honest.

                1. I meant more regionally. Surf/skate culture has had a lot of sway here.

                  Depending on how long its been since I’ve gotten a haircut I usually go for intentionally disheveled or Hitler-Youth-esque parted at the side and combed tightly across.

                  The intentionally disheveled look would benefit from the lightest touch of product, but I don’t care and it ends up unintentionally disheveled.

                  1. Ah no, that trend kind of passed Buffalo by, as many do. Mullets, on the other hand, have true lasting power.

  5. CNN guest: ?I’m speculating here.?

  6. McCain and Cheney are thumping their war-boners on cable news.

    1. Aw, but he wants bomb *syria!!* No Fairs!?

      He don-wanna bomb his buddy Putin! He gave Putin a button! that makes them friends?

      1. No, that was the incompetent SoS before the current incompetent SoS.

        I doubt Cheney wants a war of any kind with Russia. McCain, on the other hand, craves a good war.

        1. OBAMA IS WISER THAN ALL WHOM HE CHOOSES TO BE HIS SECRETARY!! HOW DARE THEY CONTINUE TO THWART HIS WISE AND DEEPLY CONSIDERED POLICIES!?!

    2. Oh God, the image of that…

  7. WHO DARES SUGGEST OBAMA IS NOT THE GREATEST FOREIGN POLICY MIND OF ALL TIMES??!

    1. You’re late. Obama has already been blamed.

      1. BUT HIS SANCTIONS OF DOOM WITH SOLVE EVERYTHING NOW!! HE IS DECISIVE AND STRONG WILLED!!

        1. Sanctions greater than useless ground war.

          1. WHATEVER OBAMA DOES IS GREATER!

            HIS HEALTH PLANS ARE GREATER THAN ALL DISEASES!!

            HIS BORDER LAWYERS ARE GREATER THAN ANY NEW POLICY!

            HIS SANCTIONS OF WISDOM WILL BE AS POWERFUL AS THE ONES HE USES TO BEND THE IRANIANS TO HIS CLEAR DECISIVE WILL

            1. WE NEED A WHITE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT!!

              (Joe the Plumber actual quote)

              1. OBAMAS BRILLIANT SANCTIONS WILL BE SO EFFICACIOUSLY SANCTIONY BECAUSE OUR GREATEST ALLIES LIKE GERMANY WILL GLADLY COMPORT THEMSELVES HOWEVER WE DESIRE IN THE FUTURE, BECAUSE FRIENDSHIP AND TRUST IS THE BASIS OF ALL FOREIGN POLICY WISDOM

          2. SOON OBAMAS WISDOMS WILL BRING CEASE FIRES TO ISRAEL AND GAZA

            BECAUSE HE HAS BEEN SUCH A FRIEND TO BOTH, ALL WILL HEED HIS CALLS TO MAKE AMENDS

          3. Nothing like sanctions to bring totalitarian regimes to the bargaining table, right?

            1. IT WORKED WITH SADDAM!

      2. I was promised a reset with Russia and an elevation of US standing in the eyes of the world.

        Still hopin for some change pal.

  8. in unrelated news, “Rest of World Starting to realize knee-jerk Green policy is pretty fucking stupid: voters make clear that you can’t tax the planet toward ‘Sustainability'”

      1. He knows that this will clearly result in the climate-doom hitting Australia first. Oh, they will pay!! Yes, they will *suffer greatly* in the coming Climatopocalypse.

          1. I’m long sporting goods and boomerangs.

  9. Well even though we can write off the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, as foreign policy disasters… at least we can say we’re doing a *great job with China*, because they Totally Respect our consultations on East Asian issues… because, like… Diplomacy! and Obama is totally not like, a jerk, like that Bushpig Christfag Dumbhead!

  10. Well, at least those Wonky Liberal Foriegn Policy Experts are still totally on Obama’s side!….

    derp-whoooops?

    Rare agreement between left and right: Obama’s foreign policy is a disaster

    “, Jeffrey Goldberg, long-time defender of Obama’s Middle East dealings, now argues: “All Assad has to do to forever stave off a punitive strike is to keep promising that he’s in the middle of giving up his chemical weapons. (No one, by the way, has addressed the fate of his biological weapons.) This is a process that could go on for months, or even years.””

    ” Joe Klein, for example, writes, “He willingly jumped into a bear trap of his own creation. In the process, he has damaged his presidency and weakened the nation’s standing in the world. It has been one of the more stunning and inexplicable displays of presidential incompetence that I’ve ever witnessed.”

    THEY CLEARLY ARE DISCOUNTING THE DISTRACTION HE FACES, WAGING A VIGOROUS DEFENSE IN THE WAR ON WOMEN!?

    1. I guess Goldberg and Klein are racists.

  11. Goddamnit,Russia doesn’t want more Ukrainian oblasts, and Putin even asked the separatists to delay their referenda earlier this year. Besides, why would Russia need to instigate already pissed-off people who have seen their chosen president twice thwarted and know what IMF austerity will do? If Novorossiya wins its independence, it will have exactly that.

  12. Why do they never divulge what these “sanctions” are? I mean did they revoke all of Putin’s Chuck-E-Cheese tokens or what? Did they deprive him of his frequent flyer miles?

    1. on closer examination this Reuters piece was the exception to the rule. I humbly retract. *bows head in shame*

    2. They do disclose that the ‘sanctions’ are.

      e.g.

      “Washington imposed sanctions on Russia’s largest oil producer Rosneft (ROSN.MM), its second largest gas producer Novatek and its third largest bank Gazprombank.

      The sanctions in effect close the firms to medium- and long-term dollar funding. Other targets include Vnesheconombank, VEB, which acts as payment agent for the government, and eight arms firms, including the producer of the Kalashnikov assault rifle.

      However, Washington stopped short of freezing the companies’ assets, closing off the short-term funding they need for day-to-day operations or stopping U.S. firms doing business with them. Several were quick to say it was business as usual*.””

      If they didn’t divulge what the sanctions *were*, how would you know that Obama was “Doing Something”, because….

      …well, he hopes it will ‘accomplish… something’.

      what the something is they are trying to accomplish?

      THAT they never really divulge.

      (*re: ‘business as usual’ – what is the point of these sanctions you ask? Is it really to ‘hurt’ Russia? or is it simply a temporary measure to send a signal to the domestic political commentariat that the president is “involved”? what goal is expected from this process? There is never any specific statement as to what end-state the president or anyone expects as an outcome from the process. )

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.