Obama levies new round of sanctions on Russia
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama says the United States is levying a new round of economic sanctions on individuals in Russia, both inside and outside the government, in retaliation for the Kremlin's actions in Ukraine.
Obama says he has also signed a new executive order that would allow the U.S. to sanction key sectors of the Russian economy.
The new penalties mark the second round of economic sanctions the U.S. has levied on Russia this week. The first round of penalties had little impact in stopping Moscow from annexing the strategically important Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine.
The Treasury Department says among those sanctioned is Sergei Ivanov, one of Putin's closest associates. Also being hit are a private bank owned by Yuri Kovalchuk, who is considered to be Putin's banker; and two life-long Putin friends who have become multibillionaires during his presidency.
In response, Russia imposed entry bans on nine U. S. lawmakers and Washington officials. The bans affect John Boehner, the speaker of the House of Representatives, Robert Menendez, the head of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, other senators and administration officials.