U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a statement on the situation in Ukraine in the press briefing room at the White House in Washington March 6, 2014.(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)
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President Barack Obama Thursday ordered sanctions on people responsible for Russia's military intervention in Ukraine, including travel bans and freezing of their U.S. assets, and said that a referendum by the Crimea region to join Russia would violate international law.U.S. officials said a list of people targeted by the sanctions had not yet been drawn up but Russian President Vladimir Putin was not going to be one of them. Obama and administration officials stressed that the U.S. sanctions could be adjusted or additional steps taken as Russian behavior changed.Obama is attempting to rally global opinion against the Russian move, which Putin says was aimed at protecting ethnic Russians in Crimea.The Obama order targets any assets held in the United States by "individuals and entities" responsible for the Russian military intervention in Ukraine, threatening its territorial integrity or seeking to assert governmental authority over any part of Ukraine without authorization from the Ukrainian government in Kiev.
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