European Union members and the US announced new economic sanctions against Russia, saying they will make Russia’s “weak economy even weaker”.
The sanctions on Russia will affect the BRICS nations dealing with Russia, especially India as it depends heavily on Russia on defence procurement.
US President Barak Obama said the co-ordinated actions of the US and European Union would “have an even bigger bite” on Russia’s economy. The new restrictions include banning Americans or people in the US from banking with three Russian banks.
The aim is to increase the cost to Russia of its continued support for pro-Moscow rebels in eastern Ukraine.
Moscow denies charges by the EU and US that it is supplying heavy weapons to the rebels.
Speaking at the White House, Mr Obama said the US was widening its sanctions to target the key sectors of the Russian economy – energy, arms, and finance.
“If Russia continues on this current path, the costs on Russia will continue to grow,” Mr Obama said.
The US Treasury said the banks being targeting in this round of sanctions were VTB, the Russian Agriculture Bank (Rosselkhozbank) and the Bank of Moscow.
Tthe EU adopted new economic sanctions against Russia, targeting the oil sector, defence equipment and sensitive technologies.
Full details of the new EU sanctions are expected on Wednesday, when the EU is also set to name more Russian officials facing asset freezes and travel bans in Europe.
Calls for the EU to act have been fuelled by the downing of flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine. All 298 people on the Malaysia Airlines jet were killed, many of them Dutch citizens.
An international team has again failed to access the crash site, amid heavy fighting between government forces and rebels there.
Western governments believe the pro-Russian separatists shot the plane down on 17 July with a Russian missile, believing it to be a Ukrainian military flight. The rebels and Moscow deny that, instead blaming the Ukrainian military.