US upgrades Russia sanctions from “token” to “symbolic”

29 Apr

WASHINGTON–showing his usual flair for bare-knuckles diplomacy, President Obama today announced that he was ratcheting up sanctions against Russia, moving them from “token” to “symbolic” in response to continued agitation against Ukraine.

“Until now, I have focused our response on meaningless gestures of disapproval,” said Obama at a press conference. “Today, I’m taking the next step with a wide-ranging program of minor irritants.”

The State Department said the new list of sanctions included confiscating the frequent-flyer points of Russian officials, ineligibility for Two-for-One Tuesday’s at T.G.I. Friday’s, and a “pronounced slowdown” in talks to license HBO’s show “Girls” to air on Russian television.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was unavailable for comment, according to his office, because he was busy horseback riding, deep-sea diving, parasailing, breaking boards with his head, and bear wrestling.

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