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U.S., EU hit Russia with more sanctions

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New US sanctions

President Barack Obama on Tuesday announced new U.S. sanctions against Russia, saying they will ratchet up pressure on Moscow for its failure to take steps to stop the conflict in Ukraine.

"If Russia continues on its current path, the cost on Russia will continue to grow," Obama said, "and today is a reminder that the United States means what it says. We will rally the international community in standing up for the rights and freedom of people around the world."

Among the new sanctions announced Tuesday: Three Moscow-based banks -- Bank of Moscow; Russian Agricultural Bank; and VTB Bank OAO -- will not be able to get new medium- and long-term financing in the United States, the U.S. Treasury Department said.

The sanctions are not part of a new Cold War, Obama said.

"What it is, is a very specific issue related to Russia's unwillingness to recognize that Ukraine can chart its own path," Obama said, referring to the sanctions.

"It didn't have to come to this. It does not have to be this way," Obama said. "This is a choice that Russia and President (Vladimir) Putin in particular has made. ... The path for a peaceful resolution to this crisis involves recognizing the sovereignty, the territorial integrity and the independence of the Ukrainian people."

New EU sanctions

(CNN) -- European Union officials agreed Tuesday to ratchet up economic pressure on Russia as escalating fighting in Ukraine prevented investigators from getting to the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash site.

Some of the new sanctions target eight "cronies" of Russian President Vladimir Putin and three "entities" by limiting their access to EU capital markets, an EU official said on condition of anonymity. The people and entities will be named Wednesday, the official said.

The sanctions also will block new arms contracts between Europe and Russia, prohibit the export of European goods that can be used for both civilian and military purposes, and limit the export of energy-related equipment, the EU said in a prepared statement Tuesday evening.

The move adds to sanctions that Europe and the United States already had in place against Russia over its disputed annexation of Crimea and its support of pro-Russian rebels fighting the Ukrainian government.

"It is meant as a strong warning: Illegal annexation of territory and deliberate destabilization of a neighboring sovereign country cannot be accepted in 21st century Europe," the European Council's statement reads.


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