White House does not rule out future sanctions on Russia's Vladimir Putin

Written by Reuters | Washington | Updated: Mar 18 2014, 05:18am hrs
Vladimir PutinThe Obama administration does not rule out any Russian officials as possible future targets for US sanctions over the Ukraine crisis. Reuters
The Obama administration does not rule out any Russian officials as possible future targets for US sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, a White House spokesman said on Monday when asked whether Russian President Vladimir Putin could later be subject to punitive measures.

"The authority exists to apply sanctions to a variety of individuals and entities," White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters. "We're not going to rule out individuals or rule out actions."

Putin himself was not named among the group of 11 Russian and Ukrainian officials, including several of his aides, who were slapped with sanctions on Monday for Russia's military incursion in Ukraine's Crimea region. A senior U.S. official said it would have been a highly unusual and extraordinary step to target a head of state.

"The people around him... have a great deal of influence in Russia and the actions of the Russian government," Carney said.