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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Ukraine crisis: US and EU boost sanctions on Russia


The US and EU have bolstered sanctions against Russia over its alleged support for separatists fighting in Ukraine.
The US has targeted major banks including Gazprombank, defence firms and energy companies including Rosneft.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was quoted as saying sanctions would take US-Russia relations to a "dead end".
Saying it would give sanction details by the end of July, the EU said it would ask its EIB investment bank no longer to fund Russian projects.

The new round of US sanctions announced by the US treasury significantly expands previous penalties by Washington, which were limited to individuals in Russia and Ukraine and a number of companies.

As well as major banks and energy firms, the weapons manufacturer Kalashnikov Concern is also on the list.
Two self-proclaimed rebel entities in eastern Ukraine - the Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic - are also targeted.

The White House says these new sanctions are broad, flexible and potent. The inclusion of Russia's largest oil firm Rosneft, which signed a $1.5bn (£875m) deal with BP, is perhaps the most eye-catching. 

The question is will they make the desired impact - hitting President Putin where it hurts, and getting him to "de-escalate" his actions in Ukraine. 

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