President Obama made remarks on the situation in Ukraine at 11a.m. EDT, Thursday, March 20 from the White House lawn.
In his remarks, President Obama announced a
new executive order directing the further expansion of sanctions on key individuals within the Russian elite. The expanded list of sanctions also includes the first entity sanctioned, a Russian bank. The Department of the Treasury released the list below, outlining the additions:
is the Chairman of the Security and Defense Committee of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation. On March 1, 2014, Ozerov supported Russian President Vladimir Putin’s appeal regarding the use of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine. Viktor Ozerov
Vladimir Dzhabarov is the First Deputy Chairman of the International Affairs Committee of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation. On March 1, 2014, Dzhabarov supported the Putin’s appeal regarding the use of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine.
Evgeni Bushmin is the Deputy Speaker of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation. On March 1, 2014, Bushmin publicly supported the deployment of Russian forces in Ukraine.
Nikolai Ryzhkov is a Senator in the Russian Upper House of Parliament (Federation Council). Ryzhkov publicly supported the deployment of Russian forces in Ukraine.
Sergei Zheleznyak is the Deputy Speaker of the State Duma of the Russian Federation.
Sergei Mironov is a Member of the Council of the State Duma, a Member of the State Duma Committee on Housing Policy and Housing and Communal Services, and Leader of the Fair Russia Faction in the Duma of the Russian Federation.
Aleksandr Totoonov is a Member of the Committee on Culture, Science, and Information, Federation Council of the Russian Federation. On March 1, 2014, Totoonov publicly supported the deployment of Russian forces in Ukraine.
Oleg Panteleev is the First Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Parliamentary Issues. On March 1, 2014, Panteleev publicly supported the deployment of Russian forces in Ukraine.
Sergey Naryshkin has been the Chairman of the Government Duma of the Federal Gathering of the Russian Federation since December, 2011. Additionally, he is a member of the National Security Council of the Russian Federation and of the United Russia party.
Victor Ivanov has been director of the Federal Drug Control Service (FSKN) of the Russian Federation since May 15, 2008; he was appointed as a member of the Security Council of the Russian Federation on May 25, 2008. Ivanov has served in a number of other government positions prior to that; he was Assistant to the President of the Russian Federation from 2004 – 2008; and Deputy Chief of the Administration of the Russian Federation from 2000 – 2004. Ivanov joined the KGB in 1977 and eventually rose to become the Deputy Director of the Federal Security Service. Ivanov is a close ally of Putin and served alongside Putin as the chief of staff of the St. Petersburg Mayor’s office in 1994 when Putin was first deputy head of the city’s administration.
Igor Sergun is the head of Russia’s military intelligence service (GRU) and is Deputy Chief of the General Staff.
Sergei Ivanov is the Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office.
Alexei Gromov is the First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office.
Andrei Fursenko is an aide to the President of the Russian Federation and has been in that position since May 21, 2012. Fursenko has held a number of positions in the Government of the Russian Federation since 2001, including Minister of Education and Science from 2004 – 2012. Although not being designated for being a member of the Russian leadership’s inner circle, Fursenko first met Putin in 1993 and they remain closely associated.
Vladimir Yakunin was appointed as chairman of the board of the Russian state-owned company Russian Railways on June 15, 2005; he has remained as head of the company ever since. Yakunin is being designated because of his official position in the Russian government, but he is also a close confidant of Putin. Yakunin regularly consults with Putin on issues regarding the Russian Railways company. In addition, Yakunin accompanies Putin on many domestic and international visits. Yakunin met Putin while both were working in St. Petersburg. Yakunin decided to create a business center in the city and contacted Putin for his support. In addition, Yakunin became a member of the board of the Baltic Maritime Steamship Company on Putin’s instructions. Yakunin and Putin were also neighbors in the elite dacha community on the shore of Lake Komsomolsk and they served as cofounders of the Ozero Dacha Cooperative in November 1996.
Vladimir Kozhin was appointed the Head of Administration under the President of the Russian Federation by Putin on January 21, 2000. He has served continuously in that position until the present time. Kohzin is responsible for overseeing a staff of 60,000, over a hundred enterprises and institutions including the Kremlin and several other government buildings, and over four thousand vehicles. Kohzin’s positions have been variously referred to as Head of Administration, Head of the Presidential Affairs Office, Head of the Presidential Business Management Directorate of the Russian Federation, and head of the Presidential Property Management Directorate.
Members of the Inner Circle The following individuals are being designated because each is controlled by, has acted for or on behalf of, or has provided material or other support to, a senior Russian government official.
Gennady Timchenko is one of the founders of Gunvor, one of the world’s largest independent commodity trading companies involved in the oil and energy markets. Timchenko’s activities in the energy sector have been directly linked to Putin. Putin has investments in Gunvor and may have access to Gunvor funds.
Arkady Rotenberg and Boris Rotenberg have provided support to Putin’s pet projects by receiving and executing high price contracts for the Sochi Olympic Games and state-controlled Gazprom. They have made billions of dollars in contracts for Gazprom and the Sochi Winter Olympics awarded to them by Putin. Both brothers have amassed enormous amounts of wealth during the years of Putin’s rule in Russia. The Rotenberg brothers received approximately $7 billion in contracts for the Sochi Olympic Games and their personal wealth has increased by $2.5 billion in the last two years alone.
Yuri Kovalchuk is the largest single shareholder of Bank Rossiya and is also the personal banker for senior officials of the Russian Federation including Putin. Kovalchuk is a close advisor to President Putin and has been referred to as one of his “cashiers.”
The following entity is being designated because it is controlled by, has acted for or on behalf of, or has provided material or other support to, senior Russian government officials. Bank Rossiya (ОАО АБ РОССИЯ) is the personal bank for senior officials of the Russian Federation. Bank Rossiya’s shareholders include members of Putin’s inner circle associated with the Ozero Dacha Cooperative, a housing community in which they live. Bank Rossiya is also controlled by Kovalchuk, designated today. Bank Rossiya is ranked as the 17 th largest bank in Russia with assets of approximately $10 billion, and it maintains numerous correspondent relationships with banks in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere. The bank reports providing a wide range of retail and corporate services, many of which relate to the oil, gas, and energy sectors.
As a result of Treasury’s action, any assets of the persons designated today that are within U.S. jurisdiction must be frozen. Additionally, transactions by U.S. persons or within the United States involving the individuals and entity designated today are generally prohibited.
The President’s brief remarks outlined the new sanctions, their purpose, and hinted at future sanctions. The President closed with the hopeful note that “Diplomacy between the United States and Russia continues.”
full remarks are below THE PRESIDENT: Good morning, everybody. I wanted to provide an update on the situation in Ukraine and the steps that the United States is taking in response.
Over the last several days, we’ve continued to be deeply concerned by events in Ukraine. We’ve seen an illegal referendum in Crimea; an illegitimate move by the Russians to annex Crimea; and dangerous risks of escalation, including threats to Ukrainian personnel in Crimea and threats to southern and eastern Ukraine as well. These are all choices that the Russian government has made — choices that have been rejected by the international community, as well as the government of Ukraine. And because of these choices, the United States is today moving, as we said we would, to impose additional costs on Russia.
Based on the executive order that I signed in response to Russia’s initial intervention in Ukraine, we’re imposing sanctions on more senior officials of the Russian government. In addition, we are today sanctioning a number of other individuals with substantial resources and influence who provide material support to the Russian leadership, as well as a bank that provides material support to these individuals.
Now, we’re taking these steps as part of our response to what Russia has already done in Crimea. At the same time, the world is watching with grave concern as Russia has positioned its military in a way that could lead to further incursions into southern and eastern Ukraine. For this reason, we’ve been working closely with our European partners to develop more severe actions that could be taken if Russia continues to escalate the situation.
As part of that process, I signed a new executive order today that gives us the authority to impose sanctions not just on individuals but on key sectors of the Russian economy. This is not our preferred outcome. These sanctions would not only have a significant impact on the Russian economy, but could also be disruptive to the global economy. However, Russia must know that further escalation will only isolate it further from the international community. The basic principles that govern relations between nations in Europe and around the world must be upheld in the 21st century. That includes respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity — the notion that nations do not simply redraw borders, or make decisions at the expense of their neighbors simply because they are larger or more powerful.
One of our other top priorities continues to be providing assistance to the government of Ukraine so it can stabilize its economy and meet the basic needs of the Ukrainian people. As I travel to Europe next week to meet with the G7 and other European and Asian allies, I once again urge Congress to pass legislation that is necessary to provide this assistance — and do it right away. Expressions of support are not enough. We need action. I also hope that the IMF moves swiftly to provide a significant package of support for Ukrainians as they pursue reforms.
In Europe, I’ll also be reinforcing a message that Vice President Biden carried to Poland and the Baltic states this week: America’s support for our NATO allies is unwavering. We’re bound together by our profound Article 5 commitment to defend one another, and by a set of shared values that so many generations sacrificed for. We’ve already increased our support for our Eastern European allies, and we will continue to strengthen NATO’s collective defense, and we will step up our cooperation with Europe on economic and energy issues as well.
Let me close by making a final point. Diplomacy between the United States and Russia continues. We’ve emphasized that Russia still has a different path available — one that de-escalates the situation, and one that involves Russia pursuing a diplomatic solution with the government in Kyiv, with the support of the international community. The Russian people need to know, and Mr. Putin needs to understand that the Ukrainians shouldn’t have to choose between the West and Russia. We want the Ukrainian people to determine their own destiny, and to have good relations with the United States, with Russia, with Europe, with anyone that they choose. And that can only happen if Russia also recognized the rights of all the Ukrainian people to determine their future as free individuals, and as a sovereign nation — rights that people and nations around the world understand and support.
Thank you very much, everybody.