Ukraine Crisis: Obama Increases Sanctions on Russia

The president announces expanded sanctions after first set did not change Russia's actions.
3:00 | 03/20/14

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Transcript for Ukraine Crisis: Obama Increases Sanctions on Russia
This is an ABC news special report. Crisis in Ukraine. And good morning to all of you for those of you just joining us. I'm Josh Elliott President Obama is about to make a statement on the volatile situation in Ukraine -- pro Russian crowds now sees 2 Ukrainian warships this morning. And Ukraine says its troops were being threatened a senior administration officials has told ABC news. That the president today will announce a set of tough new sanctions against Russia. -- to Russia's annexation. Of the Crimean peninsula German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said this morning that Russia is suspended from the G-8 until Moscow changes its tack on Ukraine. While French president Francois along. Has said the upcoming EU and Russian summit scheduled in June has now been canceled because of the crisis before the president. Steps to the microphone if you want to bring in our senior White House correspondent Jonathan Karl and again. Jonathan on Monday he announced his first set of sanctions spoke to the possibility of additional sanctions being levied what didn't. Do we expect the president to discuss today. Well Josh I'm told this is the second round of sanctions and this one could be more significant. -- what he's doing here is sanctioning. What do White House officials have called Putin's. Cronies this is some of the billionaire business. In this so called oligarchs in Russia close to -- -- -- see their assets in the United States frozen some of them anyway with this move. And this is a 12 punch as the president is coming out now European leaders are meeting. But imposing their own second -- sound round of sanctions. And again this is all designed to try to put pressure on -- make him pay a price. For taking away Crimea the big question of course Josh is -- -- this would actually get -- to withdraw. Virtually nobody believes there's any chance that this will force -- and to back down the hope is. That'll make you think twice before going any further. It into Ukraine. And yet -- it does seem though that the administration is looking for different -- Two diplomacy here secretary of state John Kerry just announcing today that he plans to meet with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov sometime in the next week this was. A formally on planned an unannounced. Meeting so -- do we see even as these sanctions are Levy do we see perhaps the White House looking for ways out. They are looking for every possible way out and also. The president a local interview yesterday absolutely ruled out any military. Action regarding this crisis so it is all about trying to find a diplomatic solution a face saving way for Russia to get out of this. Even as officials will privately acknowledge to you. That there's no way to get food and at least in the short term to withdraw from Crimea and here we have the president coming to the microphones making this statement right before he goes on a trip to Florida. Good morning -- about it. I want to provide an update on the situation Ukraine. And the steps that the United States is taking in response. Over the last several days we've continued to be deeply concerned by -- Ukraine. We've seen an illegal referendum in Crimea. An illegitimate. Moved by the Russians to NX Crimea. And dangerous risks of escalation. Including threats to Ukrainian personnel in Crimea and threats to southern and eastern Ukraine as well. These are all choices that the Russian government has made. Choices that have been rejected by the international community. As well as the government of Ukraine. And because of these choices. The United States is today moving as we said we would to impose additional costs on -- Based on the executive order that I signed in response to Russia's initial intervention in Ukraine. We're imposing sanctions on more senior officials of the Russian government. In addition. We are today sanctioning a number of other individuals with substantial resources and influence who provide material support to the Russian leadership. As well as the bank that provides material support to these individuals. We're taking these steps as part of -- response to what Russia has already done in Crimea. At the same time the world is watching with great concern as Russia has positioned its military. In a way that could lead to further incursions into southern. And eastern Ukraine. For this reason we've been working closely with our European partners to develop more severe actions -- could be taken. If Russia continues to escalate the situation. As part of that process. I signed a new executive order today that gives us the authority. To impose sanctions not just on individuals but on key sectors. Of the Russian economy. This is not our preferred outcome. These sanctions would not only have a significant impact on the Russian economy but could also be disruptive to the global economy. However Russia must know that further escalation will only isolate it further from the international community. The basic principles that govern relations between nations in Europe and around the world must be upheld in the 21 century. That includes respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity. The notion that nations do not simply read draw borders or make decisions at the expense of their neighbors simply because they are larger. Or more powerful. One of our other top priorities continues to be providing assistance to the government of Ukraine -- -- can stabilize its economy. And meet the basic needs of the Ukrainian people. As I traveled Europe next week to meet with the G-7 and other European and Asian allies. -- once again urge congress to pass legislation that is necessary to provide. This assistance. And do it right away. Expressions of support. Are not enough. We need action. I also hope that BI MF moved swiftly to provide a significant package of support. For ukrainians as they pursue reforms. In Europe also be reinforcing -- the Vice President Biden returned -- Poland of the Baltic States this week. America's support for our NATO allies is unwavering. We're bound together by our profound article five commitment to defend one another. And by a set of shared values that so many generations sacrifice for. We -- increase our support for eastern European allies and we will continue to strengthen NATO's collective defense. And we will step up our cooperation with Europe on economic and energy issues as well. Elevate close by making a final point. Diplomacy between the United States and Russia continues. We've emphasized that Russia still has a different path available. On the and -- one that involves Russia pursuing a diplomatic solution. With the government in -- With the support of the international committee. The Russian. People need to know when mr. Putin needs to understand that the ukrainians. Shouldn't have to choose between the west and Russian. We want the Ukrainian people to determine their own destiny and to have good relations with -- the United States with Russia with the Europe. With anyone that they -- That can only happen if Russia also recognize. The rights of all the Ukrainian people determine their future as free individuals. And as a sovereign nation. Writes that people and nations around the world. Understand and support. Thank you very much -- it. Yeah. -- thank you. Again President Obama announcing a new and expanded set of sanctions targeting. Russian senior officials with ties to Russian president Vladimir Putin as well as a bank that provides material support to said individuals he also spoke. Two. The sectors of the Russian economy that could. Perhaps also fall under the aegis of these sanctions -- do you wanna bring in now -- ABC's Martha Raddatz in Washington DC and Martha. Means new set of sanctions were. To a degree forecast even on Monday when the president announced his first set. Of sanctions I asked he'd been what they presume the effect this would be used. Thought that we would see this day this day is now come just five days later so how -- can we expect this new set of sanctions today. Well as you remember Josh talking earlier in the week -- those -- -- didn't seem to bite at all in fact the Russians basically laughed them off brush them off these clearly. Are tougher. Aiming the president said not only at key individuals. Who are close to prudent but also. The bank and also key sectors of the economy the one thing I would worry about here because the administration has made it very clear. They will keep increasing sanctions if -- doesn't make a move move back. And certainly not go into eastern Ukraine I worry that -- and will. See how far he can go what is the next step what will they do next how far can I go because he has shown no sign. Whatsoever. Of stepping back we should make note that. The president's announcement of these sanctions does stuff fall in line now with other European Union leaders who also announced their own set of expanded sanctions. As well and perhaps dialing down the rhetoric that has marked this -- -- the president did say in closing. And -- do quote Russia still has a different path. Available from Martha Raddatz in Washington and Jonathan Karl here in New York I'm Josh -- we now return you to regular pro -- programming in some parts of the country that is. Good Morning America and there will be a complete wrap up tonight on world news with Diane Sawyer and of course you can always get the latest anytime. At abcnews.com. Have a good. This has been a special.

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

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