Zee Media Bureau
Washington: The United States on Monday imposed sanctions against seven Top Russian government officials and 17 firms linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin in its latest action to punish Moscow for its intervention in crisis prone Ukraine.
The White House said the seven Russians, who include Igor Sechin, head of Russia`s major oil company Rosneft and a close ally of Putin, are now subject to a freeze on any assets they hold in the United States and a ban on U.S. travel.
In addition, the US will deny export license applications for any high-technology items that could contribute to Russian military capabilities. The Commerce and State Departments will revoke any existing export licenses that meet these conditions, the White House said.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement that Washington was taking further action against members of Putin`s inner circle "in response to Russia`s continued illegal intervention in Ukraine and provocative acts that undermine Ukraine`s democracy" and territorial integrity.
It was the third round of sanctions that the United States has imposed over Russia`s intervention in the Crimea region and troop buildup near the border with Ukraine. All of the sanctions have been aimed at specific individuals and businesses.
The other people named were Oleg Belavencev, Sergei Chemezov, Dmitry Kozak, Evgeniy Murov, Aleksei Pushkov and Vyacheslav Volodin.
President Barack Obama has made clear, however, that should Russia launch a military move deeper into Ukraine, the United States will slap sanctions on key sectors of the Russian economy, such as the financial services, energy, metals and mining, engineering and defence sectors.
The White House said the latest round of sanctions was in reaction to Russian failure to meet its commitments under a mid-April agreement to de-escalate the crisis.
"Russia`s involvement in the recent violence in eastern Ukraine is indisputable," a White House statement said.
In response Russia vowed to deliver a "painful" response to fresh sanctions on 7 top officials and 17 firms linked to Kremlin and which are meant to punish President Vladimir Putin`s take on crisis hit Ukraine.
Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia, Sergei Ryabkov said, "We will, of course, respond." He further added "We are certain that this response will have a painful effect on Washington."
He stressed that Russia had a "broad range" of options, and denied any further details.
Responding on statement by White House spokesman Jay Carney, Ryabkov said Washington`s measures would only escalate tensions around the culturally splintered ex-Soviet state.
"We are disgusted with the statement issued by the White House press secretary," said Ryabkov.
"Every word used by the White House press secretary in the statement confirms that the United States has completely lost touch with reality and is leading things toward an escalation of the crisis."
Meanwhile Europen Union also agreed to impose sanctions on 15 other Russian and Ukrainian figures for their role in ukraine crisis, sources revealed.
All will be subjected to the same visa ban and asset freezes imposed on various others as Moscow shows no sign of reversing course in Ukraine.
While on the other hand amazingly, Both the Russian ruble and main stock exchange saw a gain of one percent of their value.
The Russian ruble rose to 35.85 from 36.05 against the dollar within minutes of the White House announcement.
The punitive measures impose travel bans and asset freezes on companies and officials and also tighten licensing requirements for certain hi-tech exports to Russia.