US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin discussed the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash when they spoke Thursday morning in a call initiated by Moscow to discuss new and expanded US sanctions.
No details were available of the call till the filing of this report.
The US on Wednesday announced significantly expanded sanctions against Russia citing “continued provocation” in Ukraine, targeting this time its energy and defense companies.
“Given its continued provocations in Ukraine, today I have approved a new set of sanctions on some of Russia’s largest companies and financial institutions” said President Obama.
The entities named were two major Russian financial institutions — Gazprombank OAO and VEB, two energy firms OAO Novatek and Rosneft and eight arms firms.
Also on the list were “Luhansk People’s Republic” and the “Donetsk People’s Republic,” which have asserted governmental authority over parts of Ukraine, and Aleksandr Borodai, the self-declared “prime minister” of the Donetsk People’s Republic. And four Russian government officials.
Russian president Vladimir Putin condemned the new measures, and said, “I have already said they tend to have a boomerang effect, and without any doubt, in this case they are driving Russian-American relations to an impasse, causing very serious damage.”