Treasury moves to 'pressure' Russia with new sanctions in Ukraine conflict

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The Trump administration on Tuesday announced sanctions against dozens of individuals and entities tied to the Ukraine conflict, in what Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin described as an effort to “maintain pressure on Russia.”

The Treasury Department announcement was made as Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko met with President Trump and other officials at the White House.

The Trump administration has been cool to a Russia sanctions bill moving its way through Congress, and continues to fight back allegations of collusion with Russia during the presidential campaign. But the penalties announced Tuesday -- applied under existing sanctions – were cast as a way to pressure Russia in negotiations.

“These designations will maintain pressure on Russia to work toward a diplomatic solution,” Mnuchin said in a statement. “This administration is committed to a diplomatic process that guarantees Ukrainian sovereignty, and there should be no sanctions relief until Russia meets its obligations under the Minsk agreements.”

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced the sanctions. The move targets 38 individuals and entities, including Ukrainian separatists and Russian government officials.

Those designated would be blocked from property they may be associated with in the U.S. or from engaging in financial transactions with Americans.