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