Today, President Obama updated the American people on the situation in Ukraine and the steps 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.
Diplomacy between the United States and Russia continues, President Obama said, and Russia still has a different path available, “one that involves Russia pursuing a diplomatic solution with the government in Kyiv, with the support of the international community.”
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.