President Barack Obama on Thursday said the U.S. would intensify sanctions on Russia, keeping up pressure on the country amid signs that a cease fire in Ukraine is holding.
"We are implementing these new measures in light of Russia's actions to further destabilize Ukraine over the last month, including through the presence of heavily armed Russian forces in eastern Ukraine," Mr. Obama said in a statement. "We are watching closely developments since the announcement of the cease fire and agreement in Minsk, but we have yet to see conclusive evidence that Russia has ceased its efforts to destabilize Ukraine."
The latest round of sanctions will again target Russia's financial, energy and defense sectors. More details will be released Friday, Mr. Obama said.
The U.S. is coordinating its actions with the European Union. The EU earlier Thursday agreed to implement a new package of sanctions on Russia on Friday. But in a compromise aimed at assuaging concerns within the bloc about the timing of the new measures, the EU agreed to review the latest sanctions package by the end of the month.
Mr. Obama said the U.S. sanctions could be rolled back if Russia abides by its commitments to seek a negotiated settlement to the conflict with Ukraine.
"If, instead, Russia continues its aggressive actions and violations of international law, the costs will continue to rise," Mr. Obama said.