2014-03-20T155026Z_1_CBREA2J180400_RTROPTP_2_UKRAINE-CRISIS-OBAMA

Obama expands sanctions on Russians over Crimea annexation

U.S. President Obama pauses while making a statement about Ukraine on the South Lawn of the White House in WashingtonBy Steve Holland and Jeff Mason WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama targeted sanctions at close allies and aides of Russian President Vladimir Putin over the Ukraine crisis on Thursday and threatened broad penalties against key sectors of Russia’s economy if Moscow moves deeper into Ukraine. Some of Russia’s wealthiest men were cited for sanctions as well as a large Russian bank with ties to Putin’s inner circle, in the most significant step Obama has taken to punish Russia for its move to annex the Crimea region of southern Ukraine. All told, Obama imposed sanctions on 20 Russian individuals, raising to 31 the number of people he has targeted for penalties since Russia’s military seizure of Crimea.

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