Obama Sanctions Ousted Ukrainian President, 10 Others

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 17 2014 9:58 AM

Obama Sanctions Ousted Ukrainian President, 10 Others

477770225-deposed-ukrainian-president-viktor-yanukovych-attends
Obama punishes deposed Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych. Take that, Putin!

Photo by Alexander Nemenov/AFP/Getty Images

Ever since the outbreak of hostilities in Crimea, the Obama White House has been pressured to use a tool that had been sitting around gathering dust. The president could use the International Emergency Economic Powers Act to personally sanction actors in the crisis, to prevent them from accessing "all property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the   possession or control of any United States person (including any foreign branch)."

Today, the White House picked up the tool. The most recognizable name on the list of sanctions (issued in two letters to the White House) is Viktor Yanukovych, who was the president of Ukraine until his ill-advised trip to flee Kiev protests. According to the guidelines provided to reporters, "President Yanukovych is being designated for threatening the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine, and for undermining Ukraine’s democratic institutions and processes. After abandoning Kyiv and ultimately fleeing to Russia, Viktor Yanukovych called upon Russian President Vladimir Putin to send Russian troops into Ukraine."

The other banned persons, via the White House (wording theirs):

Vladislav Surkov:  Surkov is being sanctioned for his status as a Presidential Aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin. 
Sergey Glazyev:  Glazyev is being sanctioned for his status as a Presidential Adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Leonid Slutsky:  Slutsky is being sanctioned for his status as a State Duma deputy, where he is Chairman of the Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration, and Relations with Compatriots.  
Andrei Klishas:  Klishas is being sanctioned for his status as a Member of the Council of Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and as Chairman of the Federation Council Committee of Constitutional Law, Judicial, and Legal Affairs, and the Development of Civil Society.  
Valentina Matviyenko:  Matviyenko is being sanctioned for her status as Head of the Federation Council.
Dmitry Rogozin:  Rogozin is being sanctioned for his status as the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation.
Yelena Mizulina:  Mizulina is being sanctioned for her status as a State Duma Deputy. 
Sergey Aksyonov:  Aksyonov is being designated for threatening the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine, and for undermining Ukraine’s democratic institutions and processes.  Aksyonov claims to be the Prime Minister of Crimea and has rejected the authority of the legitimate government in Kyiv.
Vladimir Konstantinov:  Konstantinov is being designated for threatening the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine, and for undermining Ukraine’s democratic institutions and processes.  Konstantinov is the speaker of the Crimean parliament, which on March 11, 2014, declared independence from Ukraine.
Viktor Medvedchuk:  Medvedchuk, leader of Ukrainian Choice, is being designated for threatening the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine, and for undermining Ukraine’s democratic institutions and processes.  He is also being designated because he has materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support to Yanukovych and because he is a leader of an entity that has, or whose members have, engaged in actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine and actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine.
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There we go, that's the latest response to the crisis, a day after the gunpoint election in Crimea that no one's recognizing as legitimate.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

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