Executive order suspends entry rights of anyone who “undermines” Ukrainian “democracy”
Obama “has signed an Executive Order that authorizes sanctions on individuals and entities responsible for activities undermining democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine.” Putin, however, was left off the list of those targeted.
You can read the Executive Order here.
Washington (CNN) – President Obama signed an Executive Order Thursday allowing the U.S. government to impose a host of sanctions on both individuals and entities deemed to be violating Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
In a phone call with reporters, senior administration officials discussed the Executive Order and said it is intended to, “send a strong message that we intend to impose costs on Russia for this intervention.” And will give the U.S. government “powerful and flexible tools” to target those who are believed to be violating international law.
One official says the State Department is imposing visa restrictions on certain individuals. “The authority allows us to add people to the visa ban list, and we will be looking at additional names.” “We have this authority, are implementing it, and we will be restricting visas as well as pulling a number of visas where people already have them,” he said.
Another official confirmed to CNN that Russian President Vladimir Putin is not on the list, and added that, “It is an unusual and extraordinary circumstance to sanction a head of state, and we would not begin our designations by doing so.”
The order also allows the Treasury Department to impose financial sanctions on individuals and entities. Anyone “misappropriating state assets of Ukraine. And… those purporting to assert governmental authority over any part of Ukraine without authorization from the Ukrainian government in Kiev.” could face sanctions an administration official said.
Another senior administration official says the U.S. has also, “canceled military exercises and joint consultations with Russia… while providing additional assurance to our Eastern European allies about our commitment to their security.”
White House spokesman Jay Carney issued the following statement:
“As President Obama has made clear, the United States is pursuing and reviewing a wide range of options in response to Russia’s ongoing violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity – actions that constitute a threat to peace and security and a breach of international law, including Russia’s obligations under the UN Charter and of its 1997 military basing agreement with Ukraine, and that are inconsistent with the 1994 Budapest Memorandum and the Helsinki Final Act.“Pursuant to the President’s guidance, today the State Department is putting in place visa restrictions on a number of officials and individuals, reflecting a policy decision to deny visas to those responsible for or complicit in threatening the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. This new step stands in addition to the policy already implemented to deny visas to those involved in human rights abuses related to political oppression in Ukraine.
“In addition, the President has signed an Executive Order that authorizes sanctions on individuals and entities responsible for activities undermining democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine; threatening the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine; contributing to the misappropriation of state assets of Ukraine; or purporting to assert governmental authority over any part of Ukraine without authorization from the Ukrainian government in Kyiv. This E.O. is a flexible tool that will allow us to sanction those who are most directly involved in destabilizing Ukraine, including the military intervention in Crimea, and does not preclude further steps should the situation deteriorate.
“These actions build upon the previous actions the United States has taken, including suspending bilateral discussions with Russia on trade and investment; suspending other bilateral meetings on a case-by-case basis; putting on hold U.S.-Russia military-to-military engagement, including exercises, bilateral meetings, port visits, and planning conferences; and our agreement with G-7 nations to suspend for the time being our participation in activities associated with the preparation of the scheduled G-8 Summit in Sochi in June. Depending on how the situation develops, the United States is prepared to consider additional steps and sanctions as necessary.