President Obama announced an agreement with the European Union that would slap what could be some serious sanctions on Russia, an attempt to punish Vladimir Putin for his aggression in the Ukraine. Europe had resisted imposing sanctions, but the shooting down of the Malaysian airliner has changed its collective mind.
Details of the sanctions after the jump. Do you think actions like these will make Putin more peaceful, or might they have unintended consequences?
Europe’s actions were particularly significant given that the continent has a far stronger economic relationship with Russia than the U.S. does. Until this week, the EU sanctions had lagged behind American penalties, in part because of leaders’ concerns about a negative impact on their own economies.
But Europe’s calculus shifted sharply after a surface-to-air missile brought down the passenger jet, killing nearly 300 people including more than 200 Europeans. The new European penalties include an arms embargo on Moscow and a ban on the unapproved sale to the Russians of technology that has dual military and civilian uses or is particularly sensitive, such as advanced equipment used in deep-sea and Arctic oil drilling.Obama said the U.S. sanctions would hit the finance, arms and energy sectors of Russia’s economy. Among the U.S. sanctions, according to the Treasury Department, are U.S. penalties that target the Bank of Moscow, the Russian Agricultural Bank and VTB Bank. Also listed on the Treasury designation is the United Shipbuilding Corp., which is based in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Obama said the U.S. is also blocking the export of certain goods and technologies to the Russian energy sector, and suspending credit “that encourages exports to Russia and financing for economic development projects in Russia.”