U.S., European Union impose economic sanctions against Russia

July 29, 2014, 5:27 PM UTC
Photo courtesy: AFP—Getty Images

The governments of the U.S. and the European Union imposed wide-ranging economic sanctions on Russia Tuesday.

Speaking Tuesday afternoon about the Ukraine crisis, President Obama said the U.S. is imposing sanctions with a “bigger bite” on Russian energy, arms and financial companies.

The sanctions, the most comprehensive imposed on Russia since the end of the Cold War, come as a result of the Russian government’s ongoing support of the conflict in the Ukraine, Obama said.

The sanctions focus on the oil industry, defense, dual-use goods and technology, and they come almost two weeks after a Malaysian Airlines jet was shot down over eastern Ukraine, killing 298 people.

Outlined in a release published by the European Council earlier in the day, the EU sanctions are as follows:

–Targeting Russia’s financial, energy and defense sectors in a way that prevents Russia’s largest banks from issuing stock or bonds to European markets

–Barring exports of arms and defense goods. For example, a French deal to sell helicopter attack ships to Russia will be stopped.

–Halting exports of items needed for Russia to begin deep-sea drilling, Arctic explorations and shale oil projects. Companies, such as BP, are saying that its profits could be drastically cut by the sanctions.

The package of sanctions “reinforces the measures” that have been in place since March, according to the European Council.

The new measures mark a “powerful signal” to Russian leaders and “will bring heavy costs to its economy,” said Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Commission, in a statement.