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WASHINGTON — President Obama on Thursday announced that he would expand sanctions against Russia, blacklisting wealthy individuals with ties to the government and a bank used by them, and opening the door to broader measures against Russian energy exports.
The measures deliver on Obama’s warning this week that the United States would ratchet up the costs for Russia if President Vladimir Putin moved to annex the breakaway province of Crimea. But they were aimed at forestalling further Russian incursions into eastern Ukraine, after what Obama described as troubling Russian military movements.
In response, Moscow banned nine US officials from entering Russia, including Speaker John A. Boehner; the Senate Democratic leader, Harry Reid of Nevada; and Senator John McCain of Arizona; as well as three senior White House officials.