WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama banned new investments in Crimea on Friday, slapping sanctions on the peninsula that Russia annexed from Ukraine earlier this year.
Obama signed an executive order Friday that imposes economic restrictions similar to sanctions imposed by the European Union on Thursday. In a letter to the House and Senate, Obama said the measures are "additional steps to address the Russian occupation of the Crimea region of Ukraine."
The order prohibits U.S. companies or individuals from exporting or importing any goods, services or technology to or from Crimea. Likewise, U.S. individuals or companies cannot buy real estate or businesses in Crimea or finance Crimean companies.
It also freezes any assets in the U.S. of individuals determined by the U.S. Treasury Department to be operating in Crimea.
Obama on Thursday signed separate legislation that authorized new sanctions on Russia. But Obama said he did not plan to enforce those penalties because they were not coordinated with European Union sanctions. The Crimea sanctions, however, will be imposed because they were in tandem with the European Union.
Russia annexed Crimea earlier this year and has given support to pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, angering Western nations.