WASHINGTON, Dec. 22 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of the Treasury on Tuesday announced expanded economic sanctions against specific individuals and entities in Russia -- a move intended as a serious warning that the United States opposes Moscow's continued movements in Ukraine.
Specifically, the sanctions announced by the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control expand on the penalties already in place and add dozens of targets to the blacklist.
The sanctions were first levied due to Russian President Vladimir Putin's annexation of Crimea last year.
"It is critical that Russia takes the steps necessary to comply with its obligations ... to ensure a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Ukraine," Acting OFAC Director John E. Smith said. "By more closely matching our designations with those of our international partners and thwarting attempts to evade sanctions¸ we are once again demonstrating the United States' unwavering resolve to pressure Russia to respect the security and sovereignty of Ukraine."
The Treasury on Tuesday identified a total of 34 individuals and entities against whom the sanctions will now target.
"This includes 14 individuals and entities linked to those that have engaged in serious and sustained evasion of existing sanctions," the Treasury said in a news release.
Two of those targeted are former Ukrainian government officials the OFAC said were "complicit in the misappropriation of public assets and/or threatening the security or stability of Ukraine."
Russian officials responded Tuesday by saying it is evaluating the Treasury's decision.
"Based on the reciprocity principle, the Russian side will initially review these decisions taken and then pool proposals on possible countermeasures," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
"This is like shooting yourself in the foot in terms of currents state of Russian-American relations, which were stalled by Washington," Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov added. "All their attempts to influence us through sanctions are doomed to failure."
U.S. officials said sanctions against Russia will not be lifted until Putin ceases activity in Ukraine and "implements its commitments under the Minsk Agreements" -- an accord reached in September 2014 that ordered an end to warfare in Ukraine's Donbass region.
The Treasury's action came one day after the European Union extended sanctions against Russia.
The United States does not formally recognize Russia's annexation of Crimea and the OFAC said Moscow must return control of the peninsula to Ukraine as another condition of lifting sanctions.