President Barack Obama said the United States and Russia are not engaged in a new Cold War, but he said it's necessary to impose greater sanctions on the country for lack of cooperation in the Malaysian jet crash and for continued aggression toward Ukraine.
“It's not a new Cold War,” Obama said Tuesday before boarding Marine One. “What it is, is a very specific issue related to Russia's unwillingness to recognize that Ukraine can chart its own path.”
The newest round of sanctions from the United States will hit the energy, arms, and finance sectors, Obama said.
“We're blocking the exports of specific goods and technologies to the Russian energy sector. we're expanding our sanctions to more Russian banks and defense companies. and we're formally suspending credit that encourages exports to Russia and financing for economic development projects in Russia,” Obama said.
Obama said this would cause harm to the Russian economy.
“Projections for russian economic growth are down to near zero,” Obama said of Russia. “The major sanctions we're announcing today will continue to ratchet up the pressure on Russia, including the cronies and companies that are supporting russia's illegal actions in ukraine. in other words, today russia is once again isolating itself from the international community, setting back decades of genuine progress. and it doesn't have to come to this. it didn't have to come to this.”
Obama said he spoke with European leaders, as well as leaders from the Netherlands, Malaysia and Australia, countries most affected by the jet that was shot down killing nearly 300 people on board.
“Since the shoot down, however, Russia and its proxies in Ukraine have failed to cooperate with the investigation and to take the opportunity to pursue a diplomatic solution to the conflict in ukraine,” Obama added. “These russian-backed separatists have continued to interfere in the crash investigation and tamper with the evidence. they've continued to shoot down Ukrainian aircraft in the region. and because of their actions, scores of ukrainian civilians continue to die needlessly every day.”