US, EU Declare Sanctions on Russian Officials, Ukrainians
The White House has declared a freeze on assets of 11 Russian officials linked to the political push for Crimea's independence from Ukraine and possible annexation by Russia.
The Obama administration announced the sanctions Monday following the European Union, which designated 21 officials from Russia and Ukraine for travel bans and trade sanctions.
The moves came in response to Crimea's declaration of independence from Ukraine Monday and it plans to apply to become part of Russia. Crimea's regional assembly declared independence for the region after a referendum on Sunday indicated voters' overwhelming support for joining the Russian Federation.
In addition to responses from the U.S. and the European Union, NATO released a statement Monday calling the vote "illegal and illegitimate." It said the vote violates the Ukrainian constitution and international law, and added that the circumstances under which the referendum was held were "deeply flawed and therefore unacceptable."
Despite objections from the international community, a delegation of Crimean lawmakers is traveling to Moscow Monday to discuss additional procedures required to become part of the Russian Federation.
Ukraine's parliament has approved a partial mobilization of reservists in response to the crisis.
Crimea Applies to Join Russia
Crimea's regional assembly has declared independence from Ukraine and applied to become part of Russia, a day after a referendum in Crimea overwhelmingly supported joining the Russian Federation.
A delegation of Crimean lawmakers is set to travel to Moscow Monday to discuss additional procedures required to become part of the Federation.
Meanwhile, Ukraine's parliament has approved a partial mobilization of reservists in response to the crisis.
The United States and its European allies are expected to announce sanctions Monday against Russia.
U.S. President Barack Obama told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin Sunday that Washington and its "European partners are prepared to impose additional costs" on Moscow for backing the secession referendum in Ukraine's Crimean peninsula.
A White House statement called Sunday's referendum illegal and said it violates Ukraine's constitution. It also said the vote will "never be recognized by the United States and the international community."