The United States will impose key sanctions against the Russian economy, President Barack Obama announced Tuesday during a White House press conference.
The sanctions put an embargo on firearm sales to Russia and additionally target the country’s energy and finance industries. European Union leaders placed similar penalties against Russia just hours before; however, Obama claimed these additional U.S. sanctions will have "an even bigger bite."
"It's not a new cold war," Obama declared in response to a question, "What it is, is a very specific issue related to Russia's unwillingness to recognize that Ukraine can chart its own path."
This weekend, the Obama administration released surveillance photos revealing that Russian troops have fired artillery rounds against Ukranian militants.
"It didn't have to come to this. It does not have to be this way. This is a choice that Russia and President Putin in particular has made," Obama stated.
“If Russia continues on its current path the cost on Russia will continue to grow,” Obama warned. "Today is a reminder that the United States means what it says and we will rally the international community in standing up for rights and freedom around the world."