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US, Europe sanctions target Putin's inner circle

President Barack Obama makes a statement on Ukraine, Thursday, March 20, 2014, on the South Lawn at the White House in Washington before departing for Florida. President Barack Obama said the US is levying a new round of economic sanctions on individuals in Russia, both inside and outside the government, in retaliation for the Kremlin's actions in Ukraine. He also said he has also signed a new executive order that would allow the U.S. to sanction key sectors of the Russian economy. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)WASHINGTON (AP) — Raising the stakes in an East-West showdown over Ukraine, President Barack Obama on Thursday ordered economic sanctions against nearly two dozen members of Vladimir Putin’s inner circle and a major Russian bank that provides them support. He warned that more sweeping penalties against Russia’s robust energy sector could follow.

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