President Barack Obama speaks on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, July 29, 2014, as he announces new economic sanctions against key sectors of the Russian economy in the latest move to force Russian President Vladimir Putin to end his support for Ukrainian rebels. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) (The Associated Press)
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FILE - In this Wednesday, July 16, 2014 file photo, Russia's President Vladimir Putin he arrives for an official group photo during the BRICS summit at the Itamaraty palace, in Brasilia, Brazil. Frustrated by the apparent ineffectiveness of previous sanctions and outraged by the deaths of 298 people aboard the Malaysia Airlines plane downed over eastern Ukraine, the European Union adopted tough new economic sanctions against Russia on Tuesday, July 29, 2014 EU officials and diplomats said. The measures, which were prepared in coordination with the United States, include an arms embargo, and a ban on the sale of dual use and sensitive technologies, such as advanced energy technology equipment relevant for deep sea and Arctic drilling. Such equipment will now be subject to prior approval by competent national authorities, an EU official said. Under the financial sanctions, Russian state-owned banks will be banned from selling bonds or equities with a maturity of over 90 days in European capital markets, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to make public statements. The ambassadors also added eight names to the list of people subject to EU-wide asset freezes and travel bans, including four people close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the EU official said. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File ) (The Associated Press)
MOSCOW – Russia's central bank is promising to support financial institutions hit by U.S. sanctions as stocks took a tumble on opening in Moscow.
In an online statement, the bank promised to "take adequate measures" to support targeted institutions. Russia's state-owned VTB bank — Russia's second-largest — was trading down 1.2 percent on Wednesday morning.
Other major banks that were left unscathed by sanctions — such as the country's largest, Sperbank — were trading higher.
U.S. officials said Tuesday that roughly 30 percent of Russia's banking sector assets are now constrained by sanctions. The move comes after Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over East Ukraine. Western officials accuse pro-Russian separatists of bring down the plane with a missile supplied by Moscow.
Pace reported from Washington.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.