U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday extended sanctions against Russia by another year, prolonging punitive measures that were first imposed over Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.
The U.S. imposed travel bans and asset freezes against individuals involved in the seizure of the Ukrainian peninsula under President Barack Obama in March 2014. The sanctions have been extended and expanded since then by the Obama and Trump administrations.
In Monday’s announcement, the Trump administration stressed the “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States” posed by Russia as the basis for renewing the sanctions.
Due to expire on March 6, 2019, the travel bans and asset freezes have been extended into the spring of 2020.
Alexei Pushkov, a senior deputy in Russia’s upper-house Federation Council, blasted the Trump administration’s decision in a tweet late on Monday.
“It’s not fitting of Trump to be copying Obama. But he’s copying him,” Pushkov tweeted.
Last month, U.S. senators introduced a bill seeking to impose new sanctions on Russia over suspected interference in U.S. elections and aggression against Ukraine. Russian officials dismissed the bill as “insane” and “ridiculous.”
Moscow maintains that Crimea chose to become part of Russia through a legitimate referendum and has imposed a food embargo in response to the U.S. sanctions.
Reuters contributed reporting to this article.