Updated: 03/17/2014 11:44 AM KSTP.com
President Barack Obama says new U.S. sanctions imposed on Russian officials make it clear "that there are consequences for their actions" in Crimea and he's warning that the U.S. stands ready to impose further sanctions if necessary.
The president stressed that the government has the authority to go after officials in the Russian arms sector and those who support Russian cronies if the government doesn't pursue a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Ukraine.
Obama on Monday froze the U.S. assets of seven Russian officials for their support of Crimea's vote to secede from Ukraine in the most comprehensive sanctions against Russia since the end of the Cold War. The Treasury Department also is imposing sanctions on four Ukrainians involved in the separatist effort.
European Union foreign ministers also imposed new sanctions today, slapping travel bans and asset freezes on 21 people they have linked to the push for the secession and possible annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula.
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