Obama Imposes Sanctions Against Putin's Inner Circle, Russia Sanctions Nine US Politicians
During Russia's occupation of Crimea, experts told the West the only way to really make Russian President Vladimir Putin second guess any moves was to hit those close to him. After passing sanctions that were laughed at by Russian officials, President Obama promised Putin harsher sanctions if he continued aggression towards Ukraine.
It appears Obama kept his word after Putin signed the treaty that officially annexed Crimea from Ukraine.
On Thursday morning, President Obama addressed the press and said the new sanctions would hit senior officials who provide support to Russia. The Treasury Department released the list, and it contained names of Putin's extremely close friends, including the giant Rossiya Bank in St. Petersburg.
The names are not prominent in America, but they are very important to Putin in Russia. They appeared on a list presented to the European Union to hit people that matter.
For those who doubt it will work, here is some more information.
Russia released their own sanctions list against nine politicians. The biggest names on the list include Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Speaker of the House John Boehner (D-OH). When Russia made the threats of a sanction list, McCain thought he would be on the list. He visited Kyiv, Ukraine during the three month protest to oust Russia-backed president Viktor Yanukovych and again two weeks ago when he promised the new government he would push Obama to send them weapons and military supplies.
Boehner has not been too outspoken about the Ukraine crisis except for an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal about the need to export natural gas to Europe in case Russia shuts off energy.