Wednesday's announcement comes in view of a high-level meeting in Paris in which President Donald Trump could cross with Russian President Vladimir Putin. And it comes the day after Trump has blamed his predecessor for the invasion of Crimea in Russia in 2014. "It was President Obama who allowed it to happen," Trump insisted.
Trump is also scheduled to meet Putin at a meeting of the G20 countries in Argentina that will begin on November 30th.
The Treasury Department has announced sanctions against two individuals and an entity for "serious violations of human rights" and sanctions on another eight entities and an individual responsible for the advancement of Russian interests in Crimea.
One of these eight entities was also designated to be owned or controlled directly or indirectly by Banca Rossiya and Yuri Valentinovich Kovalchuk, which had previously been sanctioned.
Human rights violations
The actions related to Crimea strengthen the Declaration of the Crimea of July 25 stating that the United States does not recognize the alleged annexation of Crimea by Russia, the Treasury said.
"The United States is leveraging new authorities to target Russian actors for serious human rights violations in parts of Ukraine that the US government has determined are otherwise occupied or controlled by the Russian government , and other reprehensible acts in support of the Russian government The evil program of the Kremlin, "said Sigal Mandelker, Undersecretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.
"The Treasury remains committed to addressing entities backed by Russia seeking to profit from Russia's annexation and illegal occupation of Crimea," Mandelker said. "Our sanctions clearly remind us that efforts to normalize investment and economic relations with those operating in the Crimea will not be tolerated and subject to the sanctioning authorities of the United States and the EU."
The new sanctions announced "appear to be ongoing" maintenance "under current sanctioning authorities," said Matthew Rojansky, director of the Kennan Institute at the Wilson Center.
"Having said this, this is not without importance," added Rojansky. "Emphasizes the continued willingness of the administration to use the sanctions authority to put pressure on Russia and its delegates, which sends a very clear message to Moscow ahead of the expected Trump-Putin summit in Argentina and at the Congress at a key moment after the mid-term elections ".
"There should be no doubt that the Treasury and the State will continue with these rounds of sanctions even if the administration is pursuing a better dialogue with Russia on issues such as arms control and Syria," he said Rojansky.
Trump has blamed Obama for annexation
The announcement comes the day after Trump insisted that the former president Barack Obama is the cause of the problem. annexation of Crimea by Russia.
When asked about a possible upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump referred to his July summit in Helsinki with the Russian leader.
"I had a very, very nice meeting ̵
When the reporter pointed out that "it was President Putin who annexed the Crimea, sir", Trump insisted on his version of the story.
"That was President Obama's regime during President Obama, right?" Trump said. "It was not during me … No, that was President Obama."
"But it was President Putin who made the annexation," said the journalist
"No, no, it was President Obama who allowed it to happen," Trump said. "It has nothing to do with me."