President Obama announced Tuesday that the U.S. is once again moving to impose fresh sanctions on Russia as a consequence for its continued support of separatists in eastern Ukraine.
The new sanctions, which target the defense, energy and financial sectors of the Russian economy, will have an “even bigger bite” than those imposed in the past, Mr. Obama said, because the U.S. is being joined by its European allies who had, until now, resisted widening their own sanctions. But, he said, it is “not a new Cold War” with the nation’s one-time archrival.
“The major sanctions we’re announcing today will continue to ratchet up the pressure on Russia,” Mr. Obama said at the White House. “Today Russia is once again isolating itself from the international community, setting back decades of genuine progress. And it doesn’t have to come to this. It didn’t have to come to this. It does not have to be this way. This is a choice that Russia, and President [Vladimir] Putin in particular has made.”
He urged Russia to choose a different path, one of “de-escalation, the choice of joining the world in a diplomatic solution to this situation, a choice in which Russia recognizes that it can be a good neighbor and trading partner with Ukraine.”
Asked whether the U.S. engaged in a new Cold War with Russia, however, Mr. Obama said it was not.
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