Obama Imposes New Russia Sanctions As Putin Remains Defiant

The new sanctions are meant to put a serious dent in the Russian economy, but Putin warned such measures might backfire on the U.S.
Posted at 11:21 PM, Jul 16, 2014

Back in June, President Obama gave Russia an ultimatum: work to de-escalate tensions in Ukraine between the government and pro-Russian separatists, or face harsh economic sanctions. (Via The White House)

Wednesday, those sanctions arrived, with the U.S. targeting key banking, oil and natural gas companies 

"What we are expecting is that the Russian leadership will see once again that its actions in Ukraine have consequences, including a weakening Russian economy and increasing diplomatic isolation." (Via C-SPAN)

The E.U. made similar moves Wednesday, blacklisting Russian companies that it says threaten the stability of Ukraine. (Via BBC)

While the fighting in Israel and Gaza has taken the bulk of the headlines lately, the conflict in Ukraine is as strong as ever. Twenty-three Ukrainian soldiers were killed and a hundred wounded fighting pro-Russian rebels Friday. (Via PBS)

Western leaders blame Putin, claiming his government is supplying weapons to the rebels and stymieing moves toward peace talks, all while claiming to want a diplomatic resolution.

So far, sanctions haven't managed to make him reconsider. A BBC analyst questions whether the latest ones will, either. "This latest set of economic sanctions follows a round imposed earlier this year which the White House says have hurt Russia's economy. But they haven't tempered Russia, or President Putin's resolve."

Putin responded to the sanctions by essentially dissing American foreign policy, saying the U.S. encounters problems everywhere it intervenes around the world. He also issued a vaguely threatening warning about the cost of the sanctions. (Via Getty Images)

"Well, they usually backfire. ... This undermines the long-term strategic interests of the U.S. state and of the U.S. people." (Via RT)

The White House has another level of sanctions it could potentially use against Russia, targeting entire sectors of the Russian economy, but it considers those restrictions closer to a last resort.