Obama Just Announced Sanctions Against 7 Russian ‘Cronies’

Barack Obama

President Barack Obama on Monday signed an executive order authorizing sanctions on seven Russian officials, the day after a controversial referendum in which Crimea voted overwhelmingly to secede from Ukraine and join Russia.

In response to the “Russian government’s actions contributing to the crisis in Ukraine,” the new executive order lists seven individuals designated for sanctions — Vladislav Surkov, Sergey Glazyev, Leonid Slutsky, Andrei Klishas, Valentina Matviyenko, Dmitry Rogozin, and Yelena Mizulina. Surkov and Glazyev are key aides to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The sanctions freeze their assets and ban their visas.

On a conference call shortly after the announcement, a senior Obama administration official said the U.S. was targeting Russian “cronies” with the sanctions.

“These are by far the most comprehensive sanctions applied against Russia since the end of the Cold War,” another senior administration official said.

In addition to the new executive order, the Treasury Department on Monday announced sanctions imposed on four other officials involved in the Ukrainian crisis. They are Crimea-based separatist leaders Sergey Aksyonov and Vladimir Konstantinov; former Ukrainian presidential chief of staff Viktor Medvedchuk; and former President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych.

Those sanctions were issued under a previous executive order signed by Obama on March 6.

President Barack Obama is delivering a statement on Ukraine at 10:45 a.m.

Here’s the White House’s rundown of the seven Russian officials and four others designated for sanctions on Monday: