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White House imposes sanctions on Putin's 'inner circle'

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Days after the United States and its partners in the G7 approved increased sanctions on Russia, the White House on Monday went further by punishing 17 companies and seven Russian government officials, two of whom are "linked to Putin's inner circle." The sanctions, to be imposed by the Treasury Department, include asset freezes, visa bans, and export restrictions.

The White House did not immediately identify the companies and individuals subject to the latest sanctions.

In a statement, the White House said the new sanctions came in response to Russia reneging on its pledge earlier this month to de-escalate the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Over the weekend, pro-Russian separatists — whom the U.S. and Ukraine believe are linked directly to Moscow — kidnapped a group of European military officers who were in Ukraine to monitor the conflict. "Russia's involvement in the recent violence in eastern Ukraine is indisputable," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.