The US and EU rejected Crimea’s referendum Sunday, issuing statements and new sanctions outlining the West’s overwhelming disapproval of Russian activities in Crimea.
President Obama issued a new Executive Order (EO) with respect to Ukraine expanding upon an EO issued in early March. The
Fact Sheet released by the White House outlining the recent EO is below. The full text of the EO is available here. President Obama today issued a new Executive Order (E.O.) under the national emergency with respect to Ukraine that finds that the actions and policies of the Russian government with respect to Ukraine -– including through the deployment of Russian military forces in the Crimea region of Ukraine –- undermine democratic processes and institutions in Ukraine; threaten its peace, security, stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity; and contribute to the misappropriation of its assets.
This new authority expands upon E.O. 13660, which the President signed less than two weeks ago, by authorizing the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to impose sanctions on named officials of the Russian government, any individual or entity that operates in the Russian arms industry, and any designated individual or entity that acts on behalf of, or that provides material or other support to, any senior Russian government official. We have fashioned these sanctions to impose costs on named individuals who wield influence in the Russian government and those responsible for the deteriorating situation in Ukraine. We stand ready to use these authorities in a direct and targeted fashion as events warrant.
In response to the Russian government’s actions contributing to the crisis in Ukraine, this new E.O. lists seven Russian government officials who are being designated for sanctions. These individuals are Vladislav Surkov, Sergey Glazyev, Leonid Slutsky, Andrei Klishas, Valentina Matviyenko, Dmitry Rogozin, and Yelena Mizulina.
The United States also will seek to hold accountable individuals who use their resources or influence to support or act on behalf of senior Russian government officials. We recognize that the Russian leadership derives significant support from, and takes action through, individuals who do not themselves serve in any official capacity. Our current focus is to identify these individuals and target their personal assets, but not companies that they may manage on behalf of the Russian state.
In addition to the new E.O., the Treasury Department today has imposed sanctions on four other individuals under E.O. 13660, issued on March 6, for their actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine and in undermining the Government of Ukraine. They are Crimea-based separatist leaders Sergey Aksyonov and Vladimir Konstantinov; former Ukrainian presidential chief of staff Viktor Medvedchuk; and former President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych.
Today’s actions send a strong message to the Russian government that there are consequences for their actions that violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, including their actions supporting the illegal referendum for Crimean separation. The United States, together with international partners, will continue to stand by the Ukrainian government to ensure that costs are imposed on Crimean separatists and their Russian backers. Today’s actions also serve as notice to Russia that unless it abides by its international obligations and returns its military forces to their original bases and respects Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, the United States is prepared to take additional steps to impose further political and economic costs.
Individuals targeted by the sanctions include:
Vladislav Surkov: Surkov is being sanctioned for his status as a Presidential Aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Sergey Glazyev: Glazyev is being sanctioned for his status as a Presidential Adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Leonid Slutsky: Slutsky is being sanctioned for his status as a State Duma deputy, where he is Chairman of the Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration, and Relations with Compatriots.
Andrei Klishas: Klishas is being sanctioned for his status as a Member of the Council of Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and as Chairman of the Federation Council Committee of Constitutional Law, Judicial, and Legal Affairs, and the Development of Civil Society.
Valentina Matviyenko: Matviyenko is being sanctioned for her status as Head of the Federation Council
Dmitry Rogozin: Rogozin is being sanctioned for his status as the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation.
Yelena Mizulina: Mizulina is being sanctioned for her status as a State Duma Deputy.
Sergey Aksyonov: Aksyonov is being designated for threatening the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine, and for undermining Ukraine’s democratic institutions and processes. Aksyonov claims to be the Prime Minister of Crimea and has rejected the authority of the legitimate government in Kyiv.
Vladimir Konstantinov: Konstantinov is being designated for threatening the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine, and for undermining Ukraine’s democratic institutions and processes. Konstantinov is the speaker of the Crimean parliament, which on March 11, 2014, declared independence from Ukraine.
Viktor Medvedchuk: Medvedchuk, leader of Ukrainian Choice, is being designated for threatening the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine, and for undermining Ukraine’s democratic institutions and processes. He is also being designated because he has materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support to Yanukovych and because he is a leader of an entity that has, or whose members have, engaged in actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine and actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine.
Viktor Yanukovych: Former Ukrainian President Yanukovych is being designated for threatening the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine, and for undermining Ukraine’s democratic institutions and processes. After abandoning Kyiv and ultimately fleeing to Russia, Viktor Yanukovych called upon Russian President Vladimir Putin to send Russian troops into Ukraine.
The European Union adopted ten conclusions regarding the situation in Ukraine. The text of the Council of the European Union conclusions is below (emphasis added), and also available for download
The Council strongly condemns the holding of an illegal referendum in Crimea on joining the Russian Federation on 16 March, in clear breach of the Ukrainian Constitution. The EU does not recognise the illegal “referendum” and its outcome. It also takes note of the draft opinion of the Venice Commission on this “referendum”. It was held in the visible presence of armed soldiers under conditions of intimidation of civic activists and journalists, blacking out of Ukrainian television channels and obstruction of civilian traffic in and out of Crimea. Furthermore, there have been clear signs of increasing Russian military build-up in Crimea as well as denial of access to the peninsula to UN and OSCE representatives and missions invited by the government of Ukraine. The EU deplores these further negative developments, which are in clear violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Council recalls the statement of the EU Heads of State and Government of 6 March which set out that negotiations between Ukraine and Russia needed to start within a few days, including through multilateral mechanisms, and produce results within a limited timeframe. In light of the developments of last week, and in the absence of any such results,
the Council has decided to introduce additional measures, including travel restrictions and an asset freeze against persons responsible for actions which undermine or threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, including actions on the future status of any part of the territory which are contrary to the Ukrainian Constitution, and persons, and entities associated with them.
The European Union remains ready to support facilitating dialogue between Ukraine and Russia. We urge Russia to take steps to de-escalate the crisis, immediately withdraw its forces back to their pre-crisis numbers and garrisons in line with its international commitments, begin direct discussions with the government of Ukraine and avail itself of all relevant international mechanisms to find a peaceful and negotiated solution, in full respect of its bilateral and multilateral commitments to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. In this respect, the EU regrets that the UNSC was not able to adopt a resolution, owing to a veto by the Russian Federation.
There is still time to reverse current developments. Opportunities exist to avoid a negative spiral. The EU is ready for a constructive dialogue with all sides. The EU remains committed to the objective of developing the EU-Russia relationship, based on mutual interest and respect for international law. The Council regrets that Russia’s actions contradict these objectives. The Council urges the Russian Federation not to take steps to annex Crimea in violation of international law. Any further steps by the Russian Federation to destabilise the situation in Ukraine would lead to additional and far-reaching consequences for relations in a broad range of economic areas between the European Union and its Member States, on the one hand, and the Russian Federation, on the other hand. The European Union calls on Russia to return to developing a strategic partnership with the EU instead of isolating itself further diplomatically and economically. The Council considers that
there is an urgent need for an international presence on the ground throughout Ukraine, including in Crimea. The Council supports the swift deployment of an OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. T
he Council welcomes the Commission’s proposal for temporarily removing customs duties on Ukrainian exports to the EU and looks forward to its swift adoption. It furthermore looks forward to the signing of the political provisions of the Association Agreement on 21 March in Brussels and confirms its commitment to proceed to the signature and conclusion of the remaining parts of the Agreement which together with the political provisions constitute a single instrument. These steps will confirm Ukraine’s free and sovereign decision to pursue Ukraine’s political association and economic integration with the European Union.
The European Union is ready to stand by Ukraine and committed to provide strong financial support to its economic and financial stabilisation, as presented by the European Commission in its assistance package to Ukraine which we are committed to implement rapidly. The Council encourages the EIB to continue its operations in Ukraine. IMF support will be critical to enabling assistance from the European Union as the immediate priority is to restore macroeconomic stability through sound fiscal, monetary and exchange rate policies. At the same time, we reiterate our call on the Ukrainian government to launch urgently an ambitious set of structural reforms, including notably the fight against corruption and enhancing transparency of fiscal expenditure. The
EU also confirmed its readiness to continue to assist Ukraine in securing its energy supply through further diversification, enhanced energy efficiency, and effective interconnections with the European Union.
The European Union commends the measured response shown so far by Ukraine. The EU again encourages the Ukrainian authorities to implement an inclusive process, to pursue their efforts to ensure free and fair elections and to advance constitutional reform. All human rights violations and acts of violence need to be properly investigated and measures need to be stepped up to combat impunity. In this context, the EU looks forward to the early establishment of the Council of Europe International Advisory Panel. The EU also calls on the Ukrainian authorities to continue to reach out to all Ukrainian regions and population groups and to ensure the full protection of the rights of persons belonging to national minorities, drawing on the expertise of the Council of Europe and the OSCE. It also supports the Council of Europe tasking of its Advisory Committee for the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities to review the situation of national minorities in Ukraine. The Council reiterates the EU’s commitment to enhance people-to-people contacts between the citizens of the European Union and Ukraine, i.a. through the visa liberalisation process, in line with agreed conditions in the framework of the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan.