WASHINGTON, April 28 (RIA Novosti) – The United States will impose broad sanctions against Russia’s economy if Moscow launches a military intervention in Ukraine, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney announced Monday.
“The United States, working closely with its partners, remains prepared to impose still greater costs on Russia if the Russian leadership continues these provocations instead of de-escalating the situation, consistent with its Geneva commitments,” Carney said.
“The executive order signed by the president on March 20, 2014, authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to impose sanctions on individuals and entities operating in key sectors of the Russian economy, such as financial services, energy, metals and mining, engineering, and defense. If there is further Russian military intervention in Ukraine, we are prepared to sanction entities under this authority,” he added.
Earlier on Monday, the United States unveiled a new batch of sanctions against seven individual Russians and 17 Russian companies.
Carney said the sanctions were in response to Crimea’s reunification with Russia, which the United States does not acknowledge, as well as Russia’s stance on Ukraine.
On Saturday, leaders of the G7 group of nations accused Russia of failing to follow through on the Geneva accords that aimed at defusing the crisis in Ukraine. The G7 members threatened Moscow with tougher sanctions over its role in Crimea’s secession vote.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has insisted that the language of sanctions in relation to Russia is inappropriate and counterproductive.
The US and EU imposed a first round of targeted sanctions against Moscow following the reunification of Crimea, a former region of Ukraine that held a referendum in March in which 96 percent of population voted for integration with Russia.
The assets of several Russian politicians, lawmakers and businessmen, were frozen and they were banned from receiving visas.
Top diplomats from Russia, Ukraine, the United States and the European Union held talks in Geneva on April 17 focused on the ongoing crisis in eastern Ukraine. The sides agreed on a series of immediate steps aimed at de-escalation of tensions including the disarmament of irregular militant groups and a dialogue on constitutional reforms.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said last week that despite the Geneva agreement calling for the end of violence and total rejection of extremism, the Right Sector movement continues to stage its provocations in Ukraine, including targeting Ukrainians.