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Russian Deputy PM Laughs at Obama’s Sanctions

Russian Deputy PM Laughs at Obama’s Sanctions

Daily News Article   —   Posted on March 18, 2014

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(by Kirit Radia, ABC News)  MOSCOW – Russia’s deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin laughed off President Obama’s sanctions against him on Monday, asking “Comrade @ BarackObama” if “some prankster” came up with the list.

The Obama administration hit 11 Russian and Ukrainian officials with sanctions as punishment for Russia’s support of Crimea’s referendum. Among them: aides to President Vladimir Putin, a top government official, senior lawmakers, Crimean officials, the ousted president of Ukraine, and a Ukrainian politician and businessman allegedly tied to violence against protesters in Kiev.

It remains to be seen whether the sanctions will dissuade Russia from annexing Crimea, but one an early clue that they will not be effective came just hours later when President Putin signed a decree recognizing Crimea as an independent state, perhaps an early step towards annexation.

U.S. official have warned of additional sanctions for Russian action, hoping it will deter Russia from any further aggression towards Ukraine, but it didn’t appear to upset the often outspoke Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin.

Rogozin, a friend of actor Steven Seagal, took to Twitter to tweak Obama, tweeting  he thinks “some prankster” came up with the sanctions list.

In a later tweet addressed to “Comrade @ BarackObama,” he asked, “what should do those who have neither accounts nor property abroad? Or U didn’t think about it?”

Another Russian on the sanctions list, Vladislav Surkov, also seemed unconcerned.

Surkov,  a top Putin ideologue often called the Kremlin’s grey cardinal, reportedly told a Russian newspaper, “It’s a big honor for me. I don’t have accounts abroad. The only things that interest me in the U.S. are Tupac Shakur, Allen Ginsberg, and Jackson Pollock. I don’t need a visa to access their work. I lose nothing.”

Here’s who gets hit with the sanctions:

U.S. officials said that, among the sanctioned individuals were the “key ideologists and architects” of Russia’s Ukraine policy, while adding that some of the Russian officials were included in the list for their role in curbing “human rights and liberties” in Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) and Vladislav Surkov.

The sanctions freeze any assets under American jurisdiction and prevent American banks from doing business with the named individual, essentially freezing them out of the international banking system. The sanctions also impose a ban on their travel to the United States. Separately, but in coordination with the White House, the European Union announced sanctions today on 21 individuals that it plans to name later. U.S. officials told reporters that the American and European lists “overlapped” in some area, but declined to say how.

While some of the sanctioned officials are bold faced names, the White House move is unlikely to affect Russia’s decision making with regard to Crimea’s bid to join the Russian Federation. Russia’s stock market actually improved on the news that so few officials were included on the list. U.S. officials warned that, if Russia does go ahead with annexation of Crimea, additional penalties will follow, with more, harsher measures to come if Russia attempts to enter eastern Ukraine.

Reprinted here for educational purposes only. May not be reproduced on other websites without permission from CBS News. Visit the website at cbsnews .com.


NOTE:  On March 13 the Wall Street Journal reported on Ukraine’s request for military aid from the U.S.:

Ukraine’s interim government has appealed for U.S. military aid, including arms, ammunition and intelligence support, according to senior U.S. officials. But the Obama administration has agreed to send only military rations for now, wary of inflaming tensions with Russia.

The U.S. decision reflects the Pentagon’s reluctance to be seen as directly supporting Ukraine’s beleaguered armed forces during the standoff with Russia, which has seized the Ukrainian region of Crimea.

“It’s not a forever ‘no,’ it’s a ‘no for now,’” a senior U.S. official said of Ukraine’s request for lethal military support.


Questions

1. Define sanctions.

2. a) Who did President Obama impose sanctions on on Monday? Be specific.
b) What is the purpose of these sanctions?

3. What will the sanctions on this group of people actually do/prevent them from doing?

4. How did these officials respond to the sanctions imposed on them?

5. What does the ABC News report say is a clue that these newly imposed sanctions will not be effective?

6. What do President Obama and the European Union plan to do if these sanctions do not result in their desired outcome?

7. a) Why do you think President Obama did not include President Putin on the list?
b) Do you think he should have done so for the sanctions to be effective?
c) Ask a parent and your teacher the same question.

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