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US imposes sanctions on Russian officials over Ukraine

President Obama said the US government will go after Russian officials it says are responsible for the chaos in Ukraine.
Washington, DC (WSYR-TV/ABC) – President Obama said the US government will go after Russian officials it says are responsible for the chaos in Ukraine.

The White House today announced financial penalties against members of Vladimir Putin's inner circle, a day after residents of Crimea voted to leave Ukraine and join Russia. The White House says it's prepared for further sanctions if Russia continues its military intervention.

On Sunday, Crimea overwhelmingly voted to break off from Ukraine.

And today, the White House announced financial sanctions against Vladimir Putin’s inner circle – seven Russian government officials it says contributed to the crisis in Ukraine.

ABC News calls the penalties the most comprehensive that have been aimed at Russia since the end of the Cold War.

Also today, the 28 nations of the European Union agreed to travel and financial restrictions on 21 people from Russia and Crimea.

The US and its European allies had been saying for weeks that the crimes referendum vote was a violation of international law – and that it would not be recognized.

But that didn’t stop more than 97 percent of Crimeans that reportedly voted to join Russia.

President Obama warned that if Russia continues to interfere in Ukraine, the US is ready to implement more sanctions.

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