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US, Europe impose tough new sanctions on Russia

KDWN

WASHINGTON (AP) — Spurred to action by the downing of the Malaysian airliner, the European Union approved dramatically tougher economic sanctions Tuesday against Russia, including an arms embargo and restrictions on state-owned banks. President Barack Obama swiftly followed with an expansion of U.S. penalties targeting key sectors of the Russian economy.

The coordinated sanctions were aimed at increasing pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin to end his country’s support for separatists in eastern Ukraine whom the West blames for taking down the passenger jet nearly two weeks ago. Obama and U.S. allies also warned that Russia was building up troops and weaponry along its border with Ukraine.

“Today Russia is once again isolating itself from the international community, setting back decades of genuine progress,” Obama said. “It does not have to be this way. This a choice Russia and President Putin has made.”

Tuesday’s announcements followed an intense lobbying effort from Obama aimed at getting European leaders to toughen their penalties on Russia and match earlier U.S. sanctions. Europe has a far stronger economic relationship with Russian than the U.S., but EU leaders have been reluctant to impose harsh penalties in part because of concern about a negative impact on their own economies.

However, 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. Obama and his counterparts from Britain, France, Germany and Italy finalized plans to announce the broader sanctions Monday in an unusual joint video conference.

European Union President Herman Van Rompuy and the president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, said the sanctions sent a “strong warning” that Russia’s destabilization of Ukraine cannot be tolerated.

“When the violence created spirals out of control and leads to the killing of almost 300 innocent civilians in their flight from the Netherlands to Malaysia, the situation requires urgent and determined response,” the two top EU officials said in a statement.

Despite the West’s escalation of its actions against Russia, Obama said the U.S. and Europe were not entering into Soviet-style standoff with Russia.

“It’s not a new cold war,” he said in response to a reporter’s question.

Still, U.S. officials say sanctions already rippling through Russia are having a detrimental impact on the country’s economy. Russia’s growth projections have been downgraded, and Obama said $100 billion in capital was already expected to flee Russia even before Tuesday’s joint U.S.-European announcements.

The sanctions, Obama said, “have made a weak Russian economy even weaker.”

Yet it remains uncertain whether the tougher penalties will have any impact on Russia’s actions in Ukraine – nor was it clear what other actions the U.S. and Europe were willing to take if the situations remains unchanged. U.S. officials said they believe economic pressure remains their most effective tool, and Obama reiterated his opposition to sending lethal aid to the Ukrainian military.

The new European penalties 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. The EU also approved an arms embargo, though it would not restrict past agreements, allowing France to go forward with the delivery of two warships to Russia, a deal that has been sharply criticized by the U.S. and Britain.

To restrict Russia’s access to Europe’s money markets, EU citizens and banks will be barred from purchasing certain bonds or stocks issued by state-owned Russian banks, according to EU officials.

The specific targets of the EU actions will be published Thursday, when they will take effect.

U.S. officials said they expected Europe’s list of targets to include some of the same energy companies, defense entities and financial institutions the Obama administration hit with sanctions the day before the Malaysian airliner was shot out of the sky. The White House has been pressing Europe in recent days to bring its penalties in line with the U.S., both to increase the economic pressure on Moscow and present a united Western front.

As part of that effort, Obama also announced an expansion of the U.S. sanctions on Russian economic sectors. Among the targets were three major Russian banks: the Bank of Moscow, Russian Agricultural Bank and VTB Bank, Russia’s second largest bank.

Administration officials said 30 percent of the Russian banking sector’s assets were now targeted by U.S. sanctions. The main function of the sanctions is to curtail the financial institutions’ ability to access U.S. debt markets, not to block individual users from using their accounts or credit cards, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the sanctions by name.

Analysts said the effort was aimed at cutting off access to resources that these banks would need to support their own lending operations, an action that could weaken economic activity in Russia.

“This limits the ability of these banks to do new business. That means the Russian economy will suffer because the banks will not be able to make as many loans,” said Sung Won Sohn, an economics professor at the Martin Smith School of Business at California State University Channel Islands.

He said that barring financing from U.S. institutions to these banks will likely have a ripple effect. “It is likely that other Western banks and banks in Asia will be reluctant to do business with them,” Sohn said.

The U.S. also targeted the St. Petersburg-based United Shipbuilding Corporation, a defense technologies firm, and was blocking future technology sales to Russia’s oil industry.

Dahlburg reported from Brussels.

Associated Press writers Geir Moulson in Berlin, Elaine Ganley in Paris, Juergen Baetz in Brussels and Martin Crutsinger in Washington contributed to this report.

US, Europe impose tough new sanctions on Russia

KDWN

WASHINGTON (AP) — Spurred to action by the downing of the Malaysian airliner, the European Union approved dramatically tougher economic sanctions Tuesday against Russia, including an arms embargo and restrictions on state-owned banks. President Barack Obama swiftly followed with an expansion of U.S. penalties targeting key sectors of the Russian economy.

The coordinated sanctions were aimed at increasing pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin to end his country’s support for separatists in eastern Ukraine whom the West blames for taking down the passenger jet nearly two weeks ago. Obama and U.S. allies also warned that Russia was building up troops and weaponry along its border with Ukraine.

“Today Russia is once again isolating itself from the international community, setting back decades of genuine progress,” Obama said. “It does not have to be this way. This a choice Russia and President Putin has made.”

Tuesday’s announcements followed an intense lobbying effort from Obama aimed at getting European leaders to toughen their penalties on Russia and match earlier U.S. sanctions. Europe has a far stronger economic relationship with Russian than the U.S., but EU leaders have been reluctant to impose harsh penalties in part because of concern about a negative impact on their own economies.

However, 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. Obama and his counterparts from Britain, France, Germany and Italy finalized plans to announce the broader sanctions Monday in an unusual joint video conference.

European Union President Herman Van Rompuy and the president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, said the sanctions sent a “strong warning” that Russia’s destabilization of Ukraine cannot be tolerated.

“When the violence created spirals out of control and leads to the killing of almost 300 innocent civilians in their flight from the Netherlands to Malaysia, the situation requires urgent and determined response,” the two top EU officials said in a statement.

Despite the West’s escalation of its actions against Russia, Obama said the U.S. and Europe were not entering into Soviet-style standoff with Russia.

“It’s not a new cold war,” he said in response to a reporter’s question.

Still, U.S. officials say sanctions already rippling through Russia are having a detrimental impact on the country’s economy. Russia’s growth projections have been downgraded, and Obama said $100 billion in capital was already expected to flee Russia even before Tuesday’s joint U.S.-European announcements.

The sanctions, Obama said, “have made a weak Russian economy even weaker.”

Yet it remains uncertain whether the tougher penalties will have any impact on Russia’s actions in Ukraine – nor was it clear what other actions the U.S. and Europe were willing to take if the situations remains unchanged. U.S. officials said they believe economic pressure remains their most effective tool, and Obama reiterated his opposition to sending lethal aid to the Ukrainian military.

The new European penalties 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. The EU also approved an arms embargo, though it would not restrict past agreements, allowing France to go forward with the delivery of two warships to Russia, a deal that has been sharply criticized by the U.S. and Britain.

To restrict Russia’s access to Europe’s money markets, EU citizens and banks will be barred from purchasing certain bonds or stocks issued by state-owned Russian banks, according to EU officials.

The specific targets of the EU actions will be published Thursday, when they will take effect.

U.S. officials said they expected Europe’s list of targets to include some of the same energy companies, defense entities and financial institutions the Obama administration hit with sanctions the day before the Malaysian airliner was shot out of the sky. The White House has been pressing Europe in recent days to bring its penalties in line with the U.S., both to increase the economic pressure on Moscow and present a united Western front.

As part of that effort, Obama also announced an expansion of the U.S. sanctions on Russian economic sectors. Among the targets were three major Russian banks: the Bank of Moscow, Russian Agricultural Bank and VTB Bank, Russia’s second largest bank.

Administration officials said 30 percent of the Russian banking sector’s assets were now targeted by U.S. sanctions. The main function of the sanctions is to curtail the financial institutions’ ability to access U.S. debt markets, not to block individual users from using their accounts or credit cards, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the sanctions by name.

Analysts said the effort was aimed at cutting off access to resources that these banks would need to support their own lending operations, an action that could weaken economic activity in Russia.

“This limits the ability of these banks to do new business. That means the Russian economy will suffer because the banks will not be able to make as many loans,” said Sung Won Sohn, an economics professor at the Martin Smith School of Business at California State University Channel Islands.

He said that barring financing from U.S. institutions to these banks will likely have a ripple effect. “It is likely that other Western banks and banks in Asia will be reluctant to do business with them,” Sohn said.

The U.S. also targeted the St. Petersburg-based United Shipbuilding Corporation, a defense technologies firm, and was blocking future technology sales to Russia’s oil industry.

Dahlburg reported from Brussels.

Associated Press writers Geir Moulson in Berlin, Elaine Ganley in Paris, Juergen Baetz in Brussels and Martin Crutsinger in Washington contributed to this report.

US, Europe impose tough new sanctions on Russia

KDWN

WASHINGTON (AP) — Spurred to action by the downing of the Malaysian airliner, the European Union approved dramatically tougher economic sanctions Tuesday against Russia, including an arms embargo and restrictions on state-owned banks. President Barack Obama swiftly followed with an expansion of U.S. penalties targeting key sectors of the Russian economy.

The coordinated sanctions were aimed at increasing pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin to end his country’s support for separatists in eastern Ukraine whom the West blames for taking down the passenger jet nearly two weeks ago. Obama and U.S. allies also warned that Russia was building up troops and weaponry along its border with Ukraine.

“Today Russia is once again isolating itself from the international community, setting back decades of genuine progress,” Obama said. “It does not have to be this way. This a choice Russia and President Putin has made.”

Tuesday’s announcements followed an intense lobbying effort from Obama aimed at getting European leaders to toughen their penalties on Russia and match earlier U.S. sanctions. Europe has a far stronger economic relationship with Russian than the U.S., but EU leaders have been reluctant to impose harsh penalties in part because of concern about a negative impact on their own economies.

However, 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. Obama and his counterparts from Britain, France, Germany and Italy finalized plans to announce the broader sanctions Monday in an unusual joint video conference.

European Union President Herman Van Rompuy and the president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, said the sanctions sent a “strong warning” that Russia’s destabilization of Ukraine cannot be tolerated.

“When the violence created spirals out of control and leads to the killing of almost 300 innocent civilians in their flight from the Netherlands to Malaysia, the situation requires urgent and determined response,” the two top EU officials said in a statement.

Despite the West’s escalation of its actions against Russia, Obama said the U.S. and Europe were not entering into Soviet-style standoff with Russia.

“It’s not a new cold war,” he said in response to a reporter’s question.

Still, U.S. officials say sanctions already rippling through Russia are having a detrimental impact on the country’s economy. Russia’s growth projections have been downgraded, and Obama said $100 billion in capital was already expected to flee Russia even before Tuesday’s joint U.S.-European announcements.

The sanctions, Obama said, “have made a weak Russian economy even weaker.”

Yet it remains uncertain whether the tougher penalties will have any impact on Russia’s actions in Ukraine – nor was it clear what other actions the U.S. and Europe were willing to take if the situations remains unchanged. U.S. officials said they believe economic pressure remains their most effective tool, and Obama reiterated his opposition to sending lethal aid to the Ukrainian military.

The new European penalties 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. The EU also approved an arms embargo, though it would not restrict past agreements, allowing France to go forward with the delivery of two warships to Russia, a deal that has been sharply criticized by the U.S. and Britain.

To restrict Russia’s access to Europe’s money markets, EU citizens and banks will be barred from purchasing certain bonds or stocks issued by state-owned Russian banks, according to EU officials.

The specific targets of the EU actions will be published Thursday, when they will take effect.

U.S. officials said they expected Europe’s list of targets to include some of the same energy companies, defense entities and financial institutions the Obama administration hit with sanctions the day before the Malaysian airliner was shot out of the sky. The White House has been pressing Europe in recent days to bring its penalties in line with the U.S., both to increase the economic pressure on Moscow and present a united Western front.

As part of that effort, Obama also announced an expansion of the U.S. sanctions on Russian economic sectors. Among the targets were three major Russian banks: the Bank of Moscow, Russian Agricultural Bank and VTB Bank, Russia’s second largest bank.

Administration officials said 30 percent of the Russian banking sector’s assets were now targeted by U.S. sanctions. The main function of the sanctions is to curtail the financial institutions’ ability to access U.S. debt markets, not to block individual users from using their accounts or credit cards, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the sanctions by name.

Analysts said the effort was aimed at cutting off access to resources that these banks would need to support their own lending operations, an action that could weaken economic activity in Russia.

“This limits the ability of these banks to do new business. That means the Russian economy will suffer because the banks will not be able to make as many loans,” said Sung Won Sohn, an economics professor at the Martin Smith School of Business at California State University Channel Islands.

He said that barring financing from U.S. institutions to these banks will likely have a ripple effect. “It is likely that other Western banks and banks in Asia will be reluctant to do business with them,” Sohn said.

The U.S. also targeted the St. Petersburg-based United Shipbuilding Corporation, a defense technologies firm, and was blocking future technology sales to Russia’s oil industry.

Dahlburg reported from Brussels.

Associated Press writers Geir Moulson in Berlin, Elaine Ganley in Paris, Juergen Baetz in Brussels and Martin Crutsinger in Washington contributed to this report.

US, Europe impose tough new sanctions on Russia

KDWN

WASHINGTON (AP) — Spurred to action by the downing of the Malaysian airliner, the European Union approved dramatically tougher economic sanctions Tuesday against Russia, including an arms embargo and restrictions on state-owned banks. President Barack Obama swiftly followed with an expansion of U.S. penalties targeting key sectors of the Russian economy.

The coordinated sanctions were aimed at increasing pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin to end his country’s support for separatists in eastern Ukraine whom the West blames for taking down the passenger jet nearly two weeks ago. Obama and U.S. allies also warned that Russia was building up troops and weaponry along its border with Ukraine.

“Today Russia is once again isolating itself from the international community, setting back decades of genuine progress,” Obama said. “It does not have to be this way. This a choice Russia and President Putin has made.”

Tuesday’s announcements followed an intense lobbying effort from Obama aimed at getting European leaders to toughen their penalties on Russia and match earlier U.S. sanctions. Europe has a far stronger economic relationship with Russian than the U.S., but EU leaders have been reluctant to impose harsh penalties in part because of concern about a negative impact on their own economies.

However, 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. Obama and his counterparts from Britain, France, Germany and Italy finalized plans to announce the broader sanctions Monday in an unusual joint video conference.

European Union President Herman Van Rompuy and the president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, said the sanctions sent a “strong warning” that Russia’s destabilization of Ukraine cannot be tolerated.

“When the violence created spirals out of control and leads to the killing of almost 300 innocent civilians in their flight from the Netherlands to Malaysia, the situation requires urgent and determined response,” the two top EU officials said in a statement.

Despite the West’s escalation of its actions against Russia, Obama said the U.S. and Europe were not entering into Soviet-style standoff with Russia.

“It’s not a new cold war,” he said in response to a reporter’s question.

Still, U.S. officials say sanctions already rippling through Russia are having a detrimental impact on the country’s economy. Russia’s growth projections have been downgraded, and Obama said $100 billion in capital was already expected to flee Russia even before Tuesday’s joint U.S.-European announcements.

The sanctions, Obama said, “have made a weak Russian economy even weaker.”

Yet it remains uncertain whether the tougher penalties will have any impact on Russia’s actions in Ukraine – nor was it clear what other actions the U.S. and Europe were willing to take if the situations remains unchanged. U.S. officials said they believe economic pressure remains their most effective tool, and Obama reiterated his opposition to sending lethal aid to the Ukrainian military.

The new European penalties 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. The EU also approved an arms embargo, though it would not restrict past agreements, allowing France to go forward with the delivery of two warships to Russia, a deal that has been sharply criticized by the U.S. and Britain.

To restrict Russia’s access to Europe’s money markets, EU citizens and banks will be barred from purchasing certain bonds or stocks issued by state-owned Russian banks, according to EU officials.

The specific targets of the EU actions will be published Thursday, when they will take effect.

U.S. officials said they expected Europe’s list of targets to include some of the same energy companies, defense entities and financial institutions the Obama administration hit with sanctions the day before the Malaysian airliner was shot out of the sky. The White House has been pressing Europe in recent days to bring its penalties in line with the U.S., both to increase the economic pressure on Moscow and present a united Western front.

As part of that effort, Obama also announced an expansion of the U.S. sanctions on Russian economic sectors. Among the targets were three major Russian banks: the Bank of Moscow, Russian Agricultural Bank and VTB Bank, Russia’s second largest bank.

Administration officials said 30 percent of the Russian banking sector’s assets were now targeted by U.S. sanctions. The main function of the sanctions is to curtail the financial institutions’ ability to access U.S. debt markets, not to block individual users from using their accounts or credit cards, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the sanctions by name.

Analysts said the effort was aimed at cutting off access to resources that these banks would need to support their own lending operations, an action that could weaken economic activity in Russia.

“This limits the ability of these banks to do new business. That means the Russian economy will suffer because the banks will not be able to make as many loans,” said Sung Won Sohn, an economics professor at the Martin Smith School of Business at California State University Channel Islands.

He said that barring financing from U.S. institutions to these banks will likely have a ripple effect. “It is likely that other Western banks and banks in Asia will be reluctant to do business with them,” Sohn said.

The U.S. also targeted the St. Petersburg-based United Shipbuilding Corporation, a defense technologies firm, and was blocking future technology sales to Russia’s oil industry.

Dahlburg reported from Brussels.

Associated Press writers Geir Moulson in Berlin, Elaine Ganley in Paris, Juergen Baetz in Brussels and Martin Crutsinger in Washington contributed to this report.

US, Europe impose tough new sanctions on Russia

KDWN

WASHINGTON (AP) — Spurred to action by the downing of the Malaysian airliner, the European Union approved dramatically tougher economic sanctions Tuesday against Russia, including an arms embargo and restrictions on state-owned banks. President Barack Obama swiftly followed with an expansion of U.S. penalties targeting key sectors of the Russian economy.

The coordinated sanctions were aimed at increasing pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin to end his country’s support for separatists in eastern Ukraine whom the West blames for taking down the passenger jet nearly two weeks ago. Obama and U.S. allies also warned that Russia was building up troops and weaponry along its border with Ukraine.

“Today Russia is once again isolating itself from the international community, setting back decades of genuine progress,” Obama said. “It does not have to be this way. This a choice Russia and President Putin has made.”

Tuesday’s announcements followed an intense lobbying effort from Obama aimed at getting European leaders to toughen their penalties on Russia and match earlier U.S. sanctions. Europe has a far stronger economic relationship with Russian than the U.S., but EU leaders have been reluctant to impose harsh penalties in part because of concern about a negative impact on their own economies.

However, 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. Obama and his counterparts from Britain, France, Germany and Italy finalized plans to announce the broader sanctions Monday in an unusual joint video conference.

European Union President Herman Van Rompuy and the president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, said the sanctions sent a “strong warning” that Russia’s destabilization of Ukraine cannot be tolerated.

“When the violence created spirals out of control and leads to the killing of almost 300 innocent civilians in their flight from the Netherlands to Malaysia, the situation requires urgent and determined response,” the two top EU officials said in a statement.

Despite the West’s escalation of its actions against Russia, Obama said the U.S. and Europe were not entering into Soviet-style standoff with Russia.

“It’s not a new cold war,” he said in response to a reporter’s question.

Still, U.S. officials say sanctions already rippling through Russia are having a detrimental impact on the country’s economy. Russia’s growth projections have been downgraded, and Obama said $100 billion in capital was already expected to flee Russia even before Tuesday’s joint U.S.-European announcements.

The sanctions, Obama said, “have made a weak Russian economy even weaker.”

Yet it remains uncertain whether the tougher penalties will have any impact on Russia’s actions in Ukraine – nor was it clear what other actions the U.S. and Europe were willing to take if the situations remains unchanged. U.S. officials said they believe economic pressure remains their most effective tool, and Obama reiterated his opposition to sending lethal aid to the Ukrainian military.

The new European penalties 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. The EU also approved an arms embargo, though it would not restrict past agreements, allowing France to go forward with the delivery of two warships to Russia, a deal that has been sharply criticized by the U.S. and Britain.

To restrict Russia’s access to Europe’s money markets, EU citizens and banks will be barred from purchasing certain bonds or stocks issued by state-owned Russian banks, according to EU officials.

The specific targets of the EU actions will be published Thursday, when they will take effect.

U.S. officials said they expected Europe’s list of targets to include some of the same energy companies, defense entities and financial institutions the Obama administration hit with sanctions the day before the Malaysian airliner was shot out of the sky. The White House has been pressing Europe in recent days to bring its penalties in line with the U.S., both to increase the economic pressure on Moscow and present a united Western front.

As part of that effort, Obama also announced an expansion of the U.S. sanctions on Russian economic sectors. Among the targets were three major Russian banks: the Bank of Moscow, Russian Agricultural Bank and VTB Bank, Russia’s second largest bank.

Administration officials said 30 percent of the Russian banking sector’s assets were now targeted by U.S. sanctions. The main function of the sanctions is to curtail the financial institutions’ ability to access U.S. debt markets, not to block individual users from using their accounts or credit cards, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the sanctions by name.

Analysts said the effort was aimed at cutting off access to resources that these banks would need to support their own lending operations, an action that could weaken economic activity in Russia.

“This limits the ability of these banks to do new business. That means the Russian economy will suffer because the banks will not be able to make as many loans,” said Sung Won Sohn, an economics professor at the Martin Smith School of Business at California State University Channel Islands.

He said that barring financing from U.S. institutions to these banks will likely have a ripple effect. “It is likely that other Western banks and banks in Asia will be reluctant to do business with them,” Sohn said.

The U.S. also targeted the St. Petersburg-based United Shipbuilding Corporation, a defense technologies firm, and was blocking future technology sales to Russia’s oil industry.

Dahlburg reported from Brussels.

Associated Press writers Geir Moulson in Berlin, Elaine Ganley in Paris, Juergen Baetz in Brussels and Martin Crutsinger in Washington contributed to this report.

US, Europe impose tough new sanctions on Russia

KDWN

WASHINGTON (AP) — Spurred to action by the downing of the Malaysian airliner, the European Union approved dramatically tougher economic sanctions Tuesday against Russia, including an arms embargo and restrictions on state-owned banks. President Barack Obama swiftly followed with an expansion of U.S. penalties targeting key sectors of the Russian economy.

The coordinated sanctions were aimed at increasing pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin to end his country’s support for separatists in eastern Ukraine whom the West blames for taking down the passenger jet nearly two weeks ago. Obama and U.S. allies also warned that Russia was building up troops and weaponry along its border with Ukraine.

“Today Russia is once again isolating itself from the international community, setting back decades of genuine progress,” Obama said. “It does not have to be this way. This a choice Russia and President Putin has made.”

Tuesday’s announcements followed an intense lobbying effort from Obama aimed at getting European leaders to toughen their penalties on Russia and match earlier U.S. actions. Europe has a far stronger economic relationship with Russian than the U.S., but EU leaders have been reluctant to impose harsh penalties in part out of concern about a negative impact on their own economies.

However, 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. Obama and his counterparts from Britain, France, Germany and Italy finalized plans to announce the broader sanctions Monday in an unusual joint video conference.

European Union President Herman Van Rompuy and the president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, said the sanctions sent a “strong warning” that Russia’s destabilization of Ukraine cannot be tolerated.

“When the violence created spirals out of control and leads to the killing of almost 300 innocent civilians in their flight from the Netherlands to Malaysia, the situation requires urgent and determined response,” the two top EU officials said in a statement.

Obama, responding to a question after his announcement at the White House, said, “No, it’s not a new cold war.”

Still, U.S. officials say sanctions already rippling through Russia are having a detrimental impact on the country’s economy. Russia’s growth projections have been downgraded, and Obama said $100 billion in capital was already expected to flee Russia even before Tuesday’s joint U.S.-European announcements.

The sanctions, Obama said, “have made a weak Russian economy even weaker.”

Yet it remains uncertain whether the tougher penalties will have any impact on Russia’s actions in Ukraine – nor was it clear what other actions the U.S. and Europe were willing to take if the situations remains unchanged. U.S. officials said they believe economic pressure remains their most effective tool, and Obama reiterated his opposition to sending lethal aid to the Ukrainian military.

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.

To restrict Russia’s access to Europe’s money markets, EU citizens and banks will be barred from purchasing certain bonds or stocks issued by state-owned Russian banks, according to EU officials.

The specific targets of the EU actions will be published Thursday, when they will take effect.

U.S. officials said they expected Europe’s list of targets to include some of the same energy companies, defense entities and financial institutions the Obama administration hit with sanctions the day before the Malaysian airliner was shot out of the sky. The White House has been pressing Europe in recent days to bring its penalties in line with the U.S., both to increase the economic pressure on Moscow and present a united Western front.

As part of that effort, Obama also announced an expansion of the U.S. sanctions on Russian economic sectors. Among the targets were three major Russian banks: the Bank of Moscow, Russian Agricultural Bank and VTB Bank, Russia’s second largest bank.

Administration officials said 30 percent of the Russian banking sector’s assets were now targeted by U.S. sanctions. The main function of the sanctions is to curtail the financial institutions’ ability to access U.S. debt markets, not to block individual users from using their accounts or credit cards, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the sanctions by name.

Chris Weafer, an analyst at the investment firm Macro Advisory, said the banking sanctions would have the most immediate impact on Russia and could trickle down to individuals.

“It will certainly tighten the local debt market,” he said. “It will make it very difficult for small enterprises and individuals to access debt.”

The U.S. also targeted the St. Petersburg-based United Shipbuilding Corporation, a defense technologies firm, and was blocking future technology sales to Russia’s oil industry.

Dahlburg reported from Brussels.

Associated Press writers Geir Moulson in Berlin, Elaine Ganley in Paris, and Juergen Baetz in Brussels contributed.

US, Europe impose tough new sanctions on Russia

KDWN

WASHINGTON (AP) — Spurred to action by the downing of the Malaysian airliner, the European Union approved dramatically tougher economic sanctions Tuesday against Russia, followed swiftly by a new round of U.S. penalties targeting key sectors of the Russian economy.

The coordinated sanctions were aimed at increasing pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin to end his country’s support for separatists in eastern Ukraine whom the West blames for taking down the passenger jet nearly two weeks ago. President Barack Obama and U.S. allies also warned that Russia was building up troops and weaponry along its border with Ukraine.

“Today Russia is once again isolating itself from the international community, setting back decades of genuine progress,” Obama said. “It does not have to be this way. This a choice Russia and President Putin has made.”

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.

European Union President Herman Van Rompuy and the president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, said the sanctions sent a “strong warning” that Russia’s destabilization of Ukraine cannot be tolerated.

“When the violence created spirals out of control and leads to the killing of almost 300 innocent civilians in their flight from the Netherlands to Malaysia, the situation requires urgent and determined response,” the two top EU officials said in a statement.

Yet it remains uncertain whether the tougher penalties will have any impact on Russia’s actions in Ukraine – nor was it clear what other actions the U.S. and Europe were willing to take if the situations remains unchanged. U.S. officials said they believe economic pressure remains their most effective tool, and Obama reiterated his opposition to sending lethal aid to the Ukrainian military.

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.

To restrict Russia’s access to Europe’s money markets, EU citizens and banks will be barred from purchasing certain bonds or stocks issued by state-owned Russian banks, according to EU officials.

The specific targets of the EU actions will be published Thursday, when they will take effect.

U.S. officials said they expected Europe’s list of targets to include some of the same energy companies, defense entities and financial institutions the Obama administration hit with sanctions the day before the Malaysian airliner was shot out of the sky. The White House has been pressing Europe in recent days to bring its penalties in line with the U.S., both to increase the economic pressure on Moscow and present a united Western front.

As part of that effort, Obama also announced an expansion of the U.S. sanctions on Russian economic sectors. Among the targets were three major Russian banks: the Bank of Moscow, Russian Agricultural Bank and VTB Bank, Russia’s second largest bank.

Administration officials said 30 percent of the Russian banking sector’s assets were now targeted by U.S. sanctions. The main function of the sanctions is to curtail the financial institutions’ ability to access U.S. debt markets, not to block individual users from using their accounts or credit cards, according to the officials.

The U.S. also targeted the St. Petersburg-based United Shipbuilding Corporation, a defense technologies firm, and was blocking future technology sales to Russia’s oil industry.

The U.S. and European officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the sanctions by name.

Dahlburg reported from Brussels.

US, Europe impose tough new sanctions on Russia

KDWN

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has announced new economic sanctions against key sectors of the Russian economy in the latest move by the U.S. to force Russian President Vladimir Putin to end his support for Ukrainian rebels.

Obama says the sanctions target Russia’s energy, weapons and finance industries, including big banks.

The U.S. penalties follow other new sanctions that European Union leaders agreed to earlier Tuesday.

The European penalties are similar to sanctions imposed by the U.S. just two weeks ago targeting other big Russian banks, and energy and defense companies.

The U.S. and its European allies blame Russian-supported separatists for destabilizing eastern Ukraine and for this month’s downing of a commercial airplane carrying 298 people as it flew over rebel-controlled territory.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

Shocked into action by the downing of the Malaysian airliner and the resulting deaths of more than 200 Europeans, the European Union approved dramatically tougher economic sanctions Tuesday against Russia, to be followed swiftly by similar punitive measures from the U.S.

The new sanctions adopted by the Europeans over the uprising in Ukraine 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 sensitive, such as advanced equipment used in deep-sea and Arctic oil drilling, EU officials said.

To restrict Russia’s access to Europe’s capital markets, EU citizens and banks will be barred from purchasing certain bonds or stocks issued by state-owned Russian banks, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to make public statements.

European Union President Herman Van Rompuy and the head of the EU’s executive, Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, said the 28-nation bloc meant to send a “strong warning” to Russian President Vladimir Putin that the “illegal annexation” of Crimea and Russia’s destabilization of Ukraine cannot be tolerated.

“Furthermore, when the violence created spirals out of control and leads to the killing of almost 300 innocent civilians in their flight from the Netherlands to Malaysia, the situation requires urgent and determined response,” the two top EU officials said in a statement.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was blown out of the sky by a missile over eastern Ukraine on July 17, killing all 298 people aboard, most of them Europeans. The Obama administration has blamed separatists armed and supported by Russia.

The new EU sanctions bring Europe in sync with the U.S., which has been pressing the bloc to take a harder line against Moscow.

Europe, which has a much larger trade relationship with Russia than the U.S. does, had hesitated to take actions as strong as Washington’s for fear among some leaders that sanctions could boomerang against their own economies.

Germany, for example, imports one-third of its gas from Russia, while France has a contract to deliver two warships.

But on Monday, in a rare videoconference call with President Barack Obama, the leaders of Britain, Germany, Italy and France expressed their willingness to slap new sanctions on Russia in coordination with the U.S.

Up to now, the EU had only targeted specific individuals, businesses or rebel organizations accused of undermining Ukraine.

“Unlike the Americans, we always have to get 28 countries together,” German Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said in an interview with ARD television. “And the interests are very different. All the same, I think that we – at the latest with the shooting-down of this plane – have a situation in which we cannot simply carry on in the same way.”

The U.S. hailed the Europeans’ harder line.

“We welcome these early indications that European countries are going to take additional steps today,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said. He said further U.S. penalties would be announced as early as Tuesday.

The West has accused Russia of supplying weapons and fighters to Ukraine’s pro-Moscow separatists in the uprising that has killed more than 1,000 people since mid-April.

In the past few days, the U.S. has also accused Russia of massing 15,000 troops at the border, unleashing artillery attacks on Ukraine from its territory, and shipping more heavy weaponry to the rebels.

“It is now up to the Russian leadership to decide whether it wants to choose the path of de-escalation and cooperation,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday.

The new EU actions will be published Thursday, when they will take immediate effect.

The ambassadors also added eight names to the list of people subject to asset freezes and travel bans, including four people close to Putin, an EU official said. In addition, the ambassadors put three more entities on the list of companies and organizations subject to sanctions.

Paul Ivan, a policy analyst with the European Policy Center, a Brussels-based think tank, said that because of Russia’s “lack of cooperation” in helping bring about a peaceful solution in Ukraine, the EU had been moving toward hardening its stance in the days before the jetliner was shot down.

But “the killing of so many of its citizens and especially the undignified way of treating the bodies in the days after, just added to (Europe’s) frustration,” Ivan said.

“I think EU leaders realized that this is not just a small localized conflict that they can half-ignore, and the feeling of moral outrage has forced even the more reluctant ones to follow.”

Associated Press writers Geir Moulson in Berlin, Elaine Ganley in Paris and Juergen Baetz in Brussels contributed.