CNN screen shot

It has been 12 days since the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over east Ukraine, and Tuesday, previous rumblings that the airborne incident would lead to further strain between the U.S. and Russia came to fruition.

In a White House appearance that afternoon, President Obama announced new sanctions against Russia, warned that “the cost on Russia will continue to grow” and accused the Kremlin of thwarting investigations into the MH17 crash while emphasizing that the U.S. and its European Union allies favor diplomatic efforts to defuse the Ukrainian crisis (via ABC News):

Obama said he has been coordinating closely with European allies to ensure a unified response. Earlier today, the European Union agreed to a new package of sanctions on Russia — for the first time imposing “sectoral” sanctions on Russia’s finance and energy industries, as well as banning arms exports to Russia.

Obama, in his remarks this afternoon, called them the “most significant and wide-ranging sanctions to date.”

Obama’s speech closely followed a similarly hard-hitting announcement from the European Union earlier in the day, as The Washington Post reported. However, the president denied that a Cold War II is upon us, despite appearances to the contrary. “No, it’s not a new Cold War,” he said, managing down the anxieties of his audience. “What it is is a very specific issue related to Russian unwillingness to recognize that Ukraine can chart its own path.”

Watch Obama throw down the gauntlet in the video below (from CNN):

–Posted by Kasia Anderson

Wait, before you go…

If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.

Support Truthdig