The President announced that his administration had authorized the blockage of exports of specific goods and technologies that benefit Russia's energy sector, and increased sanctions on Russian banks and defense companies. Obama also said that he authorized the suspension of credit that encourages exports to Russia and financing for development projects in the country.
Obama said the new sanctions will increase the pressure on "the cronies and companies that are supporting Russia's illegal actions in Ukraine."
Explaining the newest sanctions, Obama cited Moscow's continued arming and encouraging of Ukrainian separatists, intelligence that indicates forces inside Russia have launched artillery strikes into Ukraine, and the continued increase of Russian military along the border.
"Today Russia is once again isolating itself from the international community, setting back decades of genuine progress," Obama said. "And it doesn't have to come to this. It didn't have to come to this. It does not have to be this way."
American sanctions will have "an even bigger bite" for Russia because of their coordination with European sanctions, the president said, adding that Russia's economy has already suffered at the hands of Western sanctions.
Obama said that his administration had "made it clear that if Russia continues on its current path, the cost on Russia will continue to grow."
"And today is a reminder that the United States means what it says," Obama added.
In response to a question from the press pool, Obama emphasized that the sanctions do not represent a new Cold War, but are instead specifically tied to Moscow's actions in Ukraine.