WASHINGTON — The Obama administration says Russia is imposing sanctions on its own people by banning most food imports from the West.
The United States is dismissing Russia's move as "politically motivated" and one that will have a negligible effect on the U.S. economy.
David Cohen is under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence. Cohen says there's a cruel irony: By banning imports, Russia is limiting its own population's access to food.
Cohen says the U.S. and its allies would never impede access to food or medicine.
Russia's ban is in retaliation for sanctions the U.S. and European nations have imposed over its actions in Ukraine. Cohen says the U.S. is ready to impose further sanctions on Russia if it doesn't de-escalate the conflict in Ukraine.