U.S, European officials work to tighten sanctions on Russia, economy targeted

Katherine De Guzman – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Washington D.C., WA, United States (4E) – U.S. officials are eyeing sanctions on Russia as the European Union (EU) seeks to penalize Russians for worsening tensions last week in the Ukraine. The EU would like to keep the sanctions within reasonable severity and appropriate timing.

The five-month-long war between Ukraine and Russia was reportedly near an end but due to reports that Russian soldiers invaded Ukraine, the tension has actually worsened.

On Saturday, the leaders of the EU met and settled with possible sanction programs for Russia. They also set back-up plans if Moscow opts not to intervene with Ukraine again.

On the same day, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council confirmed that U.S. is indeed discussing sanctions to hold Russia accountable for the illegal actions they have committed against Ukraine.

The sanctions however would not be made public.

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy announced they do not have criteria for the set sanctions and that they are acting quickly because the escalation of the war.

US President Barack Obama talked about the growing war between Russia and Ukraine in his White House Address last Thursday. He said that the sanctions will be targeting Russia’s financial and economic stability.

A source has revealed that the sanctions imposed on Russia have affected the countries which capitalized on them. Western companies have reportedly shut town because of this. The US has blocked companies and individuals financing Russia as well as the companies transferring technology to Russia’s energy industry.

Several lawmakers have reacted to the said sanctions being prepped by Europe and U.S. lawmakers have questioned the effectivity of the planned sanctions and are calling for tougher sanction programs.

Senator John McCain of Arizona said that stronger sanctions should be implemented. The senator also noted that he supports backing the Ukrainian army by providing weapons to the country.

Meanwhile, Senator Dianne Feinstein, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, also raised questions. The senator also pointed out how the Russian people are brave and strong that they will be able to make it through any economic difficulty.

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