Obama Imposes New Sanctions on Russia, But Not Putin Directly
MANILA - President Obama said his administration will today impose a new round of sanctions on Russia, targeting an "expanded list of individuals and companies," with particular focus on some high-tech defense exports.
The president, speaking during a joint press conference with President Benigno Aquino, said the sanctions will "remain targeted," applied in coordination with European allies, though will not hit Russian President Vladimir Putin directly.
The "goal is not to go after Putin personally, the goal is to change his calculus," Obama said, "and encourage him to walk the walk and not just talk the talk when it comes to diplomatically resolving the crisis in Ukraine."
Obama said he wants Russia to support free and fair elections in Ukraine next month but that Putin has not embraced that path.
"These sanctions reflect the next stage in a calibrated effort to change Russia's behavior," he said. "We don't yet know if it's going to work."
The U.S. has threatened more sweeping sanctions on entire sections of Russia's economy if its forces make further incursions into eastern Ukraine. Obama said today those remain on the table.
"Those would be more broad-based," he said, "but I think today's will be building on what are already done and will exact some additional" costs.