President Obama Expands Sanctions Against Russia

The president says new executive order will impact "entities operating in the arms sector in Russia."
3:00 | 03/17/14

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Transcript for President Obama Expands Sanctions Against Russia
This is an ABC news special report. Crisis in Ukraine. They had good morning for those of you just joining us -- Josh Elliott President Obama. Is about to make a statement from the White House briefing room regarding the crisis in Ukraine -- the administration has announced it has frozen. The US assets of seven top Russian officials including. Senior advisors to president Vladimir Putin. Let's go right now at ABC's Jonathan Karl in the White House briefing room -- we wait for the president John we're seeing. What's being called the most comprehensive sanctions placed on Russia since the Cold War what do we expect the president -- to tell us about them today but -- -- Back Josh these are the first sanctions placed on individuals in the Russian government since the Cold War we're gonna hear from the president a real line in the sand saying. -- Russia cannot go further and recognize this vote that took place in Crimea over the weekend. Saying they would annex to Russia that is an unacceptable move the president while -- make it clear that the United States does not recognize this referendum. Basically taking a piece of Ukraine away. And declaring it part of Russia this is -- acceptable to the United States they're calling it illegal. Also important United States is working in conjunction with the European allies. Also imposing their own sanctions and here's the president. More of their money. In recent months. The citizens of Ukraine have made their voices heard -- we have been guided by a fundamental principle. The future you -- it must be decided by the people of Ukraine. That means Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected. And international law must be upheld. And so Russia's decision to send troops in the Crimea has -- drawn global condemnation. From the start the United States is mobilize the international community in support of Ukraine's. To isolate Russia -- actions and to reassure our allies and partners. We saw this international unity again over the weekend when Russia stood alone in the UN Security Council defended its actions in Crimea. And as I told president proved yesterday. The referendum in -- -- was a clear violation. Ukrainian. Constitutions. And international law and will not be recognized by the international community. Today I'm announcing a series of measures that will continue to increase the cost on Russia and on those responsible for what is happening in Ukraine. First. -- authorized by the executive order -- two weeks ago. We are imposing sanctions on specific individuals responsible for undermining the sovereignty. Territorial integrity and government of Ukraine. We're making it clear that there are consequences for their actions. -- -- I have signed a new executive order that expands the scope of our sanctions. As an initial step I'm authorizing sanctions on Russian officials -- operating in the arms sector in Russia and individuals. Who provide material support to senior officials of the Russian government. And if Russia continues to interfere in Ukraine we stand ready to impose further sanctions. Third. We're continuing our close consultations with our European partners who today in Brussels -- ahead with -- own sanctions against -- Tonight Vice President Biden departs for Europe where he will meet with the leaders of our NATO allies Poland and Estonia Latvia and Lithuania. And I'll be traveling to Europe next week. Our message will be clear. -- NATO allies we have a solemn commitment to our collective defense and we will uphold this commitment. Fourth will continue to make clear to Russia that further provocations will achieve nothing except to further isolate Russia and diminish its place in the world. The international community will continue to stand. Together to oppose any violations of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity. And continued Russian military intervention in Ukraine will only deepen Russia's diplomatic isolation. And exact a greater role on the Russian economy. Going forward we can calibrate our response based on whether Russia chooses to escalate or to -- escalate the situation. Now I believe there's still a path to resolve the situation diplomatically. And -- that addresses the interest of both Russia and Ukraine. That includes Russia pulling its forces. In Crimea back to their -- supporting the deployment of additional international monitors in Ukraine. And engaging in dialogue with the Ukrainian government. Which is indicated its openness to two pursuing constitutional reform as they move forward towards elections this spring. But throughout this process we're gonna stand firm in our unwavering support for Ukraine. As I told prime ministry outside -- last week. The United States stands with the people of Ukraine and the right to determine their own destiny. We're gonna keep working with congress and our international partners to offer Ukraine the economic support. That it needs to weather this crisis and to improve the daily lives of Ukrainian people. And as we go forward there will continue to look at the range of ways we can help -- Ukrainian friends -- very universal rights and the security. Prosperity. And dignity that they -- Thanks very much. Will be available for what thank the. President Obama again discussing sanctions. Levied on senior Russian official said to be members of Russian president Vladimir Putin's inner circle we want to turn out ABC's chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz -- Martha. You spoke to us on Good Morning America earlier today about the blunt phone call that President Obama and president prudent had certainly rich. In rhetoric but now speaking to these sanctions what impact. Are they expected to have it. I don't think they'll have an enormous impact. Given that -- what some experts have said to me. Vladimir Putin clearly -- did these kinds of sanctions. It didn't move him one bit the sanctions have to really hurt they really have to hurt flattener -- As you heard President Obama say there might be more if -- makes further action but I think as for these sanctions today they will probably not have. Much affect on -- -- put it. -- Martha Raddatz thank you for that and as always we will have all developments and news here. On ABC throughout today we want to return -- -- -- our programming which for some of you. Is Good Morning America. Follow -- -- to ABC news I'm Josh Elliott have a good day. This has been a special.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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