Following the European Union’s announcement that it will continue sanctions against Russia for the next six months and Obama’s declaration that he will take action against Putin for his involvement in the election hack, the US blacklisted an additional 15 Russian individuals and companies in an effort to expand sanctions against Russia. John E. Smith, director of the Treasury Department’s office of foreign assets control, stated that these measures were taken “in response to Russia’s unlawful occupation of Crimea and continued aggression in Ukraine”.
The expected result of these new sanctions is to add economic pressure on Russia while throwing a wrench into the work of those who support and create instability in Ukraine. It also is a move from the administration that reinforces the idea that, at least while under the leadership of Obama, the US condemns the actions and aggression of Russia and will continue to oppose them.
It also is a move that challenges president-elect Donald Trump. The Republican president-to-be has consistently shown favor towards Putin and many anticipate that he could remove the current sanctions against Russia, especially after his choice for national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, consorted with the Russian president in December. However, after these new actions taken by the US and EU, the question is whether Trump will risk outrage at home and abroad by pandering to Putin.
The stance taken by the New York Times is supportive of the actions taken by Obama to expand sanctions against Russia. However, we at Guardians of Freedom, while similarly supportive of these measures, feel that they are not enough. A stronger move from Obama would be to provide direct support to Ukraine, whether that be in the form of the military aid that Ukraine has been asking for or increased financial assistance that will allow Ukraine to fortify its position against the Russian-backed rebels in the East.
More information can be found at: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/20/world/europe/us-blacklists-15-russian-entities-linked-to-ukraine-and-crimea.html?_r=0