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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/30/2014 (8 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Sanctions intended to hit Russian President - for his tacit support of Ukrainian rebels - economically

New economic sanctions against key sectors of the Russian economy have been announced by U.S. President Obama. It's all part of Washington's latest efforts to force Russian President Vladimir Putin to end his support for Ukrainian rebels.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that he is not considering adding new sanctions. Australia lost 28 citizens on Flight MH17. Abbott said that at the moment 'our focus is not on sanctions; our focus is on bringing home our dead as quickly as we humanly can.'

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that he is not considering adding new sanctions. Australia lost 28 citizens on Flight MH17. Abbott said that at the moment "our focus is not on sanctions; our focus is on bringing home our dead as quickly as we humanly can."

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/30/2014 (8 months ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Russia, sanctions, Ukraine, MH17, rebels


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - President Obama says that the sanctions target Russia's energy, weapons and finance industries, including big banks.

"If Russia continues on this current path, the costs on Russia will continue to grow," Obama said. "Because we are closely coordinating our actions with Europe, the sanctions we are announcing today will have an even bigger bite."

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Analysts say this is part of a new phase in the biggest western confrontation between Moscow and the West since the end of the Cold War. Worldwide tensions have worsened dramatically after the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over rebel-held Ukrainian territory on July 17. Western countries say a Russian-supplied missile was used by the rebels.

Restrictions on trade in equipment for the oil and defense sectors, and "dual use" technology with both military and civilian purposes are part of the plan. Russia's state-run banks would be barred from raising funds in European capital markets. Measures will be reviewed in three months.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that he is not considering adding new sanctions. Australia lost 28 citizens on Flight MH17. Abbott said that at the moment "our focus is not on sanctions; our focus is on bringing home our dead as quickly as we humanly can."

Australia has sponsored a United Nations Security Council Resolution that was passed with Russian support. The resolution demands the rebels allow the dead to be retrieved and international investigators free access to the crash site, which recent fighting has prevented.

The sanctions are being imposed in the hope that Putin will back down from a months-long campaign to seize territory and disrupt politics in Ukraine, a former Soviet state of 45 million people whose pro-Moscow leader was toppled in February.

"It's precisely because we've not yet seen a strategic turn from Putin that we believe it's absolutely essential to take additional measures and that's what the Europeans and the United States intend to do this week," Tony Blinken, a national security adviser to Obama said.

Europe, which has closer economic ties to Russia and fears provoking a wider conflict in its backyard, has been tepid in its response to Russia's alleged meddling in Ukraine's affairs.

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