New sanctions against Russia

President Barack Obama speaks Wednesday in the White House about foreign policy and escalating sanctions against Russia in response to the crisis in Ukraine.

The Obama administration brought its toughest sanctions to date against major Russian banks, energy companies and weapons makers in a bid to convince the Kremlin to end its “provocations” in Ukraine.

Among the entities targeted are two Russian banking giants and Kalashnikov Concern, the company that makes AK-47s — the standard Soviet and Russia assault rifle — along with the head of Russia’s Federal Security Service. The sanctions target Russia’s oil and gas industry for the first time, limiting access to U.S. capital for new projects.

Obama said the new sanctions are significant but targeted to hit Russia’s economy without affecting Europe or U.S. businesses.

— McClatchy Washington Bureau