A Russian official used Twitter to publicly taunt President Barack Obama and attack the White House's newly imposed economic sanctions against him, according to ABC News. Russia’s deputy prime minister, Dmitry Rogozin, asked via his Twitter account on Monday if “some prankster” had come up with the list of targets for the sanctions.
Another tweet from Rogozin publicly addressed the president and suggested that the administration had not thought through the severity of the sanctions. It read, “Comrade @BarackObama, what should do [sic] those who have neither accounts nor property abroad? Or U didn't think about it?”
The New York Post reports that the taunts came following the Obama administration’s decision to level the economic sanctions as punishment for the Russian-backed referendum that officially separated Crimea from Ukraine on Sunday. One U.S. official referred to the sanctions as “the most extensive sanctions imposed on Russia since the Cold War.”
Vladislav Surkov, a top aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin, also had sanctions imposed against him but shrugged off the impact in a quote to a Russian newspaper.
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“It’s a big honor for me,” he said. "I don’t have accounts abroad. The only things that interest me in the U.S. are Tupac Shakur, Allen Ginsberg and Jackson Pollock. I don’t need a visa to access their work. I lose nothing."
Putin was not targeted by the measures.
Those who are, though, will have their U.S. assets frozen and won’t be allowed to engage in deals converting money to U.S. dollars. That move will essentially take them out of the international banking system. Visa restrictions have also been put in place, barring them from traveling to the United States. The sanctions affect 21 Russian, Crimean and Ukranian officials.
Many believe the pressure will do little to curb Russia’s policies or avert Crimea’s bid to join the Russian Federation. The Russian stock market actually surged amid the news that so few officials were sanctioned.
In the United States, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., attacked the “timidity” of the sanctions and called for providing military assistance to Ukraine.