US announces sanctions against Russian officials

US announces sanctions against Russian officials

March 17th, 2014 by Associated Press in Local - Breaking News

Pro-Russian people celebrate in the central square in Sevastopol, Ukraine, late Sunday, March 16, 2014. Russian flags fluttered above jubilant crowds Sunday after residents in Crimea voted overwhelmingly to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. The United States and Europe condemned the ballot as illegal and destabilizing and were expected to slap sanctions against Russia for it.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

By MATTHEW LEE

AP Diplomatic Writer

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama is imposing sanctions against Russian officials after Crimea's vote to secede from Ukraine.

Obama's executive order issued today names seven Russian government officials. The United States also says it identifies and targets the assets of other individuals who aren't government officials but are supporting them.

The Treasury Department also is imposing sanctions on four Ukrainians, including former President Viktor Yanukovych and two Crimea-based separatist leaders.

The U.S. announcement came shortly after the European Union announced travel bans and asset freezes on 21 people.

The sanctions were expected after residents in Crimea voted overwhelmingly Sunday in favor of the split.