WASHINGTON — Yesterday, U.S. President Barack Obama announced sanctions against Russian and Ukrainian government officials due to the current crisis in Crimea. Right now, the Ukrainian region is home to unmarked Russian troops.
Reuters reported that Obama imposed 11 sanctions on Russian officials for the country’s action of taking control of the Crimean peninsula.
It is the only concrete action that Obama has taken regarding Russia and their involvement in the Crimean crisis, where some fear that it will be annexed by Russia. Obama signed the sanctions via executive order, which happened a day after a much-disputed Crimean referendum allowed for Russia to annex the region.
Putin could have the upper hand on the West right now regarding the Crimean peninsula.
Crimea is an autonomous republic within Ukraine, but still is a part of the country. Still, their referendum was not recognized by the U.S. or other Western countries within the European Union.
The crisis began when pro-Russia Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted by a parliamentary vote after months of pro-West protests. Then, unmarked Russian military personnel and vehicles entered Crimea to start the crisis and planned military exercises close to the Russia-Ukraine border. Ukraine put its troops on alert and planned on integrating part of their reserve force into the national military.