WASHINGTON, June 2 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said Monday that Russia's next step is not clear and the Department of Treasury is given the authority to impose more sanctions on the country.
"Last week's election was a promising sign for the future of Ukraine, but there is evidence that Russia continues to allow the free flow of weapons, funds, and fighters across its borders and President (Vladimir) Putin's next steps are still not clear," Lew said in a conference marking the 10th anniversary of the creation of Treasury's Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence in Washington, D.C. "The president has given us the authority to take even more powerful action if Russia continues to support armed separatists in eastern Ukraine."
He said Europe and the Group of Seven have joined the United States in imposing targeted sanctions on individuals and entities who have contributed to the destabilization in Ukraine. "Our actions have helped weaken Russia's economy and demonstrate again how international cooperation is a force multiplier."
Since the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis, the U.S. government has initiated rounds of sanctions on individuals and entities in connection to the Ukraine crisis. It has frozen the assets of the designated individuals within U.S. jurisdiction and denied them U. S. visa. It has also banned Americans from having transactions with the blacklisted individuals and entities.