Date
17 August 2017
US President Barack Obama announces his administration's sanctions against targeted Russian firms over escalating tensions in the Ukrainian border. Photo: AFP
US President Barack Obama announces his administration's sanctions against targeted Russian firms over escalating tensions in the Ukrainian border. Photo: AFP

US imposes toughest sanctions yet on Russia

The United States on Wednesday imposed the biggest set of economic sanctions yet against Russia over the crisis in Ukraine, targeting its energy, financial and defense firms, Reuters reported.

President Barack Obama’s latest round of sanctions came after Washington accused Russia of sending up to 12,000 combat forces back to the border with Ukraine and providing weapons to pro-Russian separatists.

The targeted companies include Russia’s largest oil producer Rosneft, second-largest gas producer Novatek; Gazprombank; Vnesheconombank, or VEB, a state-owned bank that acts as payment agent for the Russian government; and eight defense firms, the report said.

The US Treasury Department said the measures effectively closed medium- and long-term dollar funding to the banks and energy companies, although the sanctions did not freeze the firms’ assets or prohibit US companies from doing business with them.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking in Brasilia, said the sanctions would damage US energy companies, and bring relations with Russia to a “dead end”, according to Reuters.

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CG

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