President Obama on March 20 signed an executive order authorizing sanctions targeting sectors of the Russian economy, but since then, administration officials have done nothing more than repeatedly warn that such measures will be imposed unless Moscow changes course.
Although the warnings have gone unheeded by the Kremlin, the administration has yet to take action.
After a second consecutive weekend of pro-Russian demonstrations and seizures of government facilities in eastern Ukraine, the State Department alleged Sunday that “Russia is now using the same tactics that it used in Crimea in order to foment separatism, undermine Ukrainian sovereignty, and exercise control over its neighbor.”
Below is a timeline of the warnings from Obama and various administration officials relating to the so-called “sectoral” sanctions” facing Russia, in the 25 days since the executive order was signed:
President Obama, March 20:
“[T]he world is watching with grave concern as Russia has positioned its military in a way that could lead to further incursions into southern and eastern Ukraine. For this reason, we’ve been working closely with our European partners to develop more severe actions that could be taken if Russia continues to escalate the situation. As part of that process, I signed a new executive order today that gives us the authority to impose sanctions not just on individuals but on key sectors of the Russian economy.”
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