US 'finalizing' new sanctions against Russia

The Obama administration is putting the finishing touches on a new round of sanctions against Russia for its role in the Ukraine crisis. 

“The United States is finalizing measures to both deepen and broaden our sanctions across Russia's financial, energy and defense sectors. We're in close coordination with the [European Union] on this,” State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters on Tuesday.

The E.U. is scheduled to meet Wednesday to discuss the implementation of sanctions its leaders have already endorsed. Those proposals include restricting Russia’s access to capital markets, defense equipment and dual-use goods for military purposes. 

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“We have tools at the ready. We are finalizing these packages. But we're going to make decisions based on what's happening on the ground in the next few days,” Harf added.

Harf was asked whether the ceasefire Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine signed last Friday could delay the sanctions.

“I don't have a prediction. Honestly, no prediction to make for you. We are ready to impose more if we feel they're necessary,” she said.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview published Monday that Moscow would respond “asymmetrically” if the U.S. and E.U. impose new sanctions. He suggested one possible retaliatory move could involve banning airlines from flying through Russian airspace.  

The U.S. and E.U. last imposed sanctions in late July in the wake of the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine.