Obama and EU slap first sanctions on Russia over Ukraine crisis

  • Crimean parliament votes to secede from Ukraine
  • Obama tells Putin: sanctions for ‘violation of sovereignty’
  • German chancellor Angela Merkel: ‘We’re ready to act’

The United States and the European Union on Thursday unveiled sanctions to punish Russia for occupying Crimea, imposing visa restrictions on individuals and sharpening rhetoric in what has rapidly degenerated into the worst east-west crisis since the end of the cold war.

In their first concrete response to Russia’s move to wrest the Black Sea peninsula from Ukraine, Washington and Brussels also warned of further sanctions, such as asset seizures, if Moscow does not relent in the stand-off. Continue reading