US imposes sanctions on Russians, Ukrainians over conflict

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Kiev Independence square (CNN)

ROME — The State Department Thursday imposed a visa ban on Russian and Ukrainian officials and individuals responsible for or complicit in threatening the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

President Obama also Thursday signed an executive order laying the groundwork to impose sanctions against individuals and entities responsible for the crisis.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a statement the move was a 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.”

While no people or entities have been identified yet, the executive order authorizes sanctions against those 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 Kiev.

The sanctions would include freezing assets, blocking property under U.S. jurisdiction and preventing U.S. businesses would be prohibited from doing business with any individual or entity listed.

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