US lawmakers: Obama sanctions on Russia are not tough enough
Several lawmakers in US Congress have praised President Barack Obama’s order imposing sanctions against seven Russian officials but have said the sanctions do not go far enough.
On Monday, Obama issued an executive order that imposes sanctions on named Russian, Crimean, and Ukrainian officials. Obama’s order freezes any assets of the officials which are in the US or “hereafter come within the United States.” It also bans them from travelling to the US.
Among the Russian officials named in an annex to Obama’s order are Dmitry Rogozin, the country’s Deputy Prime Minister, Vladislav Surkov, a presidential aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Sergey Glazyev, a presidential adviser to Putin.
“The crisis in Ukraine calls for a far more significant response from the United States,” said Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) in a statement on Monday.
“Today's Executive Order could be an important part of that response, but sanctioning only seven Russian officials is wholly inadequate at this stage,” he added.
Other US lawmakers also called for tougher sanctions against Russia while they said the sanctions ordered by Obama were the beginning of a path forward on further sanctions.
“I support the sanctions announced today, and I strongly urge the President to go further and consider a broader range of consequences,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) on Monday.
“[The sanctions] make it clear that we're serious about moving forward on sanctions,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, also said in an interview with CNN.
Meanwhile, Russian officials responded to Obama’s move, with Russia’s Upper House speaker and former deputy prime minister Valentina Matviyenko, whose name appeared on the target list of Obama’s sanctions, saying the sanctions were an “unprecedented” decision that had not even been made during the Cold War.
Yelena Mizulina, a State Duma deputy, also called the sanctions “a rude violation” of her rights as a citizen and a politician.
Meanwhile, Surkov said being placed on the US sanctions list was a great honor for him.