United States sanctions 38 individuals, entities over Russian actions in Ukraine

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko inspects a vehicle at a military mobile hospital during his visit to Donetsk region Ukraine

United States sanctions 38 individuals, entities over Russian actions in Ukraine

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he had received strong assurances of USA support for his country from Donald Trump during a meeting in the White House on Tuesday (June 20).

Amid speculation that Trump would refuse to meet the Ukrainian leader, Poroshenko had what the White House described as a "drop-in" with the USA president.

However, before Trump's meeting with Poroshenko, the U.S. Treasury announced sanctions on 38 individuals and organizations over Russia's actions in Ukraine, and said the actions were being taken to keep pressure on Russian Federation to reach a diplomatic solution in Ukraine. "We believe that that is a part of Ukraine", Spicer said.

"After any meeting [with USA counterparts] Poroshenko typically says about kissing, hugging and promises that the United States officials allegedly made with respect to Ukraine".

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the new round of sanctions were regrettable and that "Russophobia" in the United States was raging "beyond all bounds".

The Treasury Department imposed sanctions on 38 individuals and organizations, including two Russian government officials and 11 others who operate in the annexed Ukrainian region of Crimea.

They are "part of an ongoing effort to hold those responsible for violations of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity accountable for their actions", the Treasury said.

"Until they are out of eastern Ukraine we are going to continue to have sanctions on Russian Federation", said White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

According to Petrenko, the meeting is expected to help both Poroshenko and Trump decide an array of issues.

US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, however, was more forthcoming when he met Poroshenko at the Pentagon.

Earlier, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said that during the talks, Poroshenko is due to touch on issues related to Crimea and put more pressure on Russian Federation.

But less than a month later, the president hosted top Russian diplomats in a closed-door Oval Office meeting that suggested relations weren't so bad after all. Any assets they have in the US are now blocked.

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