President Obama recently announced new sanctions for Russia. Will it be enough for President Putin to change course in Ukraine? The sanctions mark a spike in the long-term tension between the United States and Russia. With more and more sanctions, it will cripple the already weak Russian economy. Putin so far has not moved in the direction the United States and the European Union prefer. Cronies and companies who support Russia’s actions in the Ukraine need to step down.

The Treasury Department released a list of Russian banks that are blocked from transactions with Americans, including the Bank of Moscow, the Russian Agricultural Bank and the VTB Bank. Obama wants Russian troops to pull back from the border and seek a deal with Ukraine leaders. Oil, gas supplies, technology and arms sales are just a few new sanctions to turn Putin’s mind toward peace. It’s a dangerous situation.

The end of the Cold War seems to have left sparks that could ignite a fire. On top of that, Obama is in the middle of an impeachment crisis. He had to sweep up lots of problems that President George W. Bush left when he took over, and I think people need to give him more credit.

The president does all he can to manage the difficult affairs of this country.

Margit Suesser