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Jul 29, 2014 2:57 PM

Obama expected to announce US sanctions on Russia

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is expected to announce a new round of U.S. sanctions against Russia Tuesday.

The U.S. penalties follow tougher sanctions agreed to by European Union leaders earlier in the day.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest says the EU sanctions are welcome news. He says he expects the European penalties to track closely with sanctions imposed by the U.S. about two weeks ago targeting major Russian banks, as well as energy and defense companies.

The U.S. has been pressing Europe to catch up with the American sanctions in the wake of a downed passenger jet in eastern Ukraine. The West blames Russian-backed separatists for shooting down the plane.

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