The move, which adds to existing visa restrictions on people involved in human rights abuses in Ukraine, marks a further escalation of U.S. pressure on Russia over the
In a statement, the White House said President
The sanctions also apply to those who have asserted "governmental authority" over any part of Ukraine without approval from the new government in Kiev, the White House said.
In statements issued Thursday, the administration did not name individuals or groups affected by the new penalties. But officials have repeatedly said they intend to ramp up pressure on people close to Russian President
The White House statement repeated the U.S. call on Russia "to take the opportunity before it to resolve this crisis through direct and immediate dialogue" with the government in Kiev along with "the immediate pull-back of Russia's military forces to their bases, the restoration of Ukraine's territorial integrity, and support for the urgent deployment of international observers and human rights monitors who can assure that the rights of all Ukrainians are protected, including ethnic Russians."