Statement by the Press Secretary on Ukraine
The United States has taken further action today in response to Russia’s continued illegal intervention in Ukraine and provocative acts that undermine Ukraine’s democracy and threaten its peace, security, stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. At the contact group meeting in Geneva on April 17, 2014, Russia, Ukraine, the United States, and the European Union decided on a number of steps to deescalate the situation in eastern Ukraine, including refraining from further violence or provocative acts. Since April 17, Russia has done nothing to meet its Geneva commitments and in fact has further escalated the crisis. Russia’s involvement in the recent violence in eastern Ukraine is indisputable.
The United States made clear it would impose additional costs on Russia if it failed live up to its Geneva commitments and take concrete steps to deescalate the situation in Ukraine. Consequently, today the United States is imposing targeted sanctions on a number of Russian individuals and entities and restricting licenses for certain U.S. exports to Russia. The Department of the Treasury is imposing sanctions on seven Russian government officials, including two members of President Putin’s inner circle, who will be subject to an asset freeze and a U.S. visa ban, and 17 companies linked to Putin’s inner circle, which will be subject to an asset freeze. In addition, the Department of Commerce has imposed additional restrictions on 13 of those companies by imposing a license requirement with a presumption of denial for the export, re-export or other foreign transfer of U.S.-origin items to the companies. Further, today the Departments of Commerce and State have announced a tightened policy to deny export license applications for any high-technology items that could contribute to Russia’s military capabilities. Those Departments also will revoke any existing export licenses that meet these conditions.
The international community has been unified in its position that Russia must cease its illegal intervention and provocative actions in Ukraine. 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. 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.