US preparing unilateral sanctions on Russia - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

US preparing unilateral sanctions on Russia

Posted: Updated:
  • NationalMore>>

  • Wyoming cave with fossil secrets to be excavated

    Wyoming cave with fossil secrets to be excavated

    Thursday, July 24 2014 1:05 PM EDT2014-07-24 17:05:51 GMT
    For the first time in more than 30 years, paleontologists are preparing excavate a sinkhole-type cave in northern Wyoming that contains the ancient remains of tens of thousands of animals.More >>
    For the first time in three decades, scientists are about to revisit one of North America's most remarkable troves of ancient fossils: the bones of tens of thousands of animals piled at least 30 feet deep at the bottom...More >>
  • Mother, daughter die after Philly food truck blast

    Mother, daughter die after Philly food truck blast

    Thursday, July 24 2014 12:53 PM EDT2014-07-24 16:53:53 GMT
    A mother and teenage daughter have died of injuries they suffered in a fiery explosion inside their food truck earlier this month, authorities said Thursday.More >>
    A mother and teenage daughter have died of injuries they suffered in a fiery explosion inside their food truck earlier this month, authorities said Thursday.More >>
  • Varying health premium subsidies worry consumers

    Varying health premium subsidies worry consumers

    Thursday, July 24 2014 12:44 PM EDT2014-07-24 16:44:49 GMT
    Linda Close was grateful to learn she qualified for a sizable subsidy to help pay for her health insurance under the new federal law. But in the process of signing up for a plan, Close said her HealthCare.gov...More >>
    Linda Close was grateful to learn she qualified for a sizable subsidy to help pay for her health insurance under the new federal law. But in the process of signing up for a plan, Close said her HealthCare.gov account...More >>
By JULIE PACE
AP White House Correspondent

WASHINGTON (AP) - The United States is considering imposing unilateral sanctions on Russia over its threatening moves in Ukraine, a shift in strategy that reflects the Obama administration's frustration with Europe's reluctance to take tougher action against Moscow, according to U.S. and European officials.

Until now, the U.S. has insisted on hitting Russia with penalties in concert with Europe in order to maximize the impact and present a united Western front. The European Union has a far stronger economic relationship with Russia, making the 28-nation bloc's participation key to ensuring sanctions packages have enough teeth to deter Russia.

But those same economic ties have made Europe fearful that tougher penalties against Russia could boomerang and hurt their own economies. After weeks of inaction, the officials say the U.S. is now prepared to move forward alone if EU officials fail to enact strong sanctions during a meeting Wednesday in Brussels.

The U.S. official cautioned that no final decisions would be made until after the European meeting. The officials insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly by name.

The White House's willingness to punish Russia without European backing comes as the Obama administration faces criticism that its repeated warnings about tougher sanctions are little more than empty threats.

"Sometimes I'm embarrassed for you, as you constantly talk about sanctions and yet, candidly, we never see them put in place," Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said during a Senate hearing on Ukraine with administration officials last week.

The U.S. and Europe have levied coordinated sanctions on Russian individuals and companies connected to Moscow's alleged destabilization in Ukraine. Obama administration officials argue that those penalties have had an impact on Russia's economy, citing International Monetary Fund statistics showing a downgrade in Russia's growth this year.

However, officials have acknowledged that the sanctions have not have an impact on Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision-making in Ukraine.

State Department spokesman Jen Psaki said Tuesday that if Putin "cares deeply about his people, about the economy, his own country" the sanctions would shift his calculus.

Obama and European counterparts have vowed to take even broader sanctions targeting Russia's lucrative energy and defense sectors, as well as access to financial markets, if Moscow failed to quell tensions with Ukraine. But it is unclear what the new package of U.S. sanctions would include.

During a Group of Seven meeting in Brussels in early June, Western leaders warned Russian President Vladimir Putin those penalties could be levied within a month if Russia did not meet specific conditions, including recognizing the results of Ukraine's May 25 election and start a dialogue with President Petro Poroshenko, ending support for the pro-Russian insurgency in eastern Ukraine and stopping the flow of arms across the Russian border.

The end-of-June deadline the West outlined for Putin came and went with little follow-through from Russia, yet no penalties were levied by the U.S. and Europe.

Heather Conley, director of the Europe program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the West's failure to follow through on its threat of sector sanctions has raised a "credibility question" for the Obama administration.

"I think the bluff has now been fully called," Conley said.

If Obama moves forward with unilateral sanctions, he'll face opposition from the private sector. U.S. businesses have been pressing the administration to hold off on sanctions that could put them at a disadvantage in the global economy.

"It's not clear to us that breaking commercial ties with the Russia partners, consumers gets anyone to where they want to be," said Gary Litman, vice president for international strategic initiatives at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

___

Associated Press writers Matthew Lee in Washington and John-Thor Dahlburg in Brussels contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by WorldNow

ABCNews4 WCIV-TV

888 Allbritton Dr.
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
843-881-4444 | Advertising Information

Public Information File

For assistance with accessing WCIV-TV's public information file, click here.

Advertising

Advertising Credit Application and Terms and Conditions PDF.

Powered by WorldNow
All content Copyright © 2014 WCIV and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.