The Guardian
March 6, 2014

Barack Obama ramped up pressure on Russian president Vladimir Putin on Thursday by imposing visa restrictions on officials for “threatening the sovereignty of Ukraine” and signing an executive order enabling further sanctions against Moscow.

The White House said the measures were a response to Russia’s “ongoing violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”, a reference to its intervention in the southern peninsula of Crimea.

In Brussels, European leaders were holding an emergency meeting to decide whether to impose their own sanctions on Russia. Before the summit, the European Union froze the assets of Ukraine’s ousted Russia-backed leader Viktor Yanukovych and 17 other officials suspected of violations of human rights and misuse of state funds.

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