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E.U., U.S. Implement New Round Of Sanctions On Russia

A new round of sanctions from the E.U. and the U.S. targets Russia's energy and technology industries despite a stable cease-fire in Ukraine.
Posted at 4:07 PM, Sep 12, 2014

The U.S. has stepped up sanctions against Russia just hours after the European Union announced its own penalties for the country in light of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

These latest economic sanctions target Russia's technology and energy industries. Under the new rules, U.S. citizens are prohibited from granting loans for longer than 30 days to Sberbank, the largest bank in Russia.

Rostec, one of Russia's main technology and defense companies, was one of nine defense companies banned from importing technology that could be used for military purposes. 

The New York Times says these new regulations also freeze the assets and ban visas for 24 close allies to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

These sanctions come despite a cease-fire agreement established last week that has so far held strong and led to the release of several prisoners from both sides. 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said these latest restrictions "undermine the peace process" and Russia plans to act "calmly" and "appropriately" to protect its interests. 

But NATO says Russia still has about 1,000 troops inside Ukraine and about 20,000 more near the border.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew explained it was Russia's continued military involvement that led to further action from the U.S. 

CNBC quotes a statement from Lew: "Russia's economic and diplomatic isolation will continue to grow as long as its actions do not live up to its words. Russia's economy is already paying a heavy price for its unlawful behavior."

However, a Russian academic writing for Al Jazeera points out Russia's involvement in the conflict still hasn't been proven and calls these new regulations a "policy of provocation."

Officials from the E.U. and U.S. say the sanctions are likely be lifted if the current cease-fire holds.

This video includes images from Getty Images.