Official: Stronger U.S.-European sanctions likely against Russia

Deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said Sunday that the United States and Europe are likely to develop stronger sanctions this week against Russia for its involvement in the Ukraine crisis.


Members of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe examine pieces of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the village of Rassipne, in eastern Ukraine, on Friday. (Dmitry Lovetsky/Associated Press)

"We still think that the best thing the United States can do is send a message to Russia through very strong sanctions coordinated with the Europeans, and I’d expect in the coming days you will see the Europeans move out on stronger sanctions," Rhodes said on CNN's "State of the Union."

Rhodes also said European leaders were open to sanctions against Russia's energy, arms and financial sectors during talks with President Obama in the past week.

The discussions came after a commercial jet was shot down by a surface-to-air missile over territory controlled by Russian separatists. U.S. authorities have suggested that Russia is partly responsible for the incident because it provided weapons and training for the separatists.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said during an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press" that he supports stronger sanctions against Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin "has shown he has no conscience," Schumer said. "He takes advantage of this horrible downing of the airliner and then just redoubles his efforts and rearms the rebels. It's about time we took tougher action against Putin. He's a schoolyard bully."

Josh Hicks covers the federal government and anchors the Federal Eye blog. He reported for newspapers in the Detroit and Seattle suburbs before joining the Post as a contributor to Glenn Kessler’s Fact Checker blog in 2011.
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