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Sanctions yield no immediate change from Putin

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The U.S. and the European Union announced economic sanctions on Tuesday against Russia and allies of  President Vladimir Putin. (Source: FOX) The U.S. and the European Union announced economic sanctions on Tuesday against Russia and allies of President Vladimir Putin. (Source: FOX)

WASHINGTON, DC (FOX) - International attempts to get Russia to back down in Ukraine are proving fleeting.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is brushing off fresh sanctions aimed at forcing Moscow to cut support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

For a fourth straight day international experts are forced to abandon attempts to visit the crash site of Malaysian Air Flight 17 due to heavy fighting in eastern Ukraine.

Russia is dismissing new accusations that Moscow is trying to sabotage the ground work at the crash site, or that it even targeted the airliner that killed 298 on board in the first place.

"The American side, by the way, up until this point hasn't publicly presented any facts beside the unfounded accusations and social media data," said Alexander Lukashevich, Russian foreign ministry spokesman.

The latest impasse in the crash investigation comes a day after the European Union and the U.S. announced they are imposing the most sweeping set of sanctions on Russia to date.

The aim is to hit Putin with economic punishments for ongoing support of rebels in eastern Ukraine.

"The point here is to continue upping the pressure and squeezing them economically so President Putin will make the right decision here," said State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf.

The sanctions target everything from Russia's energy industry to its state-owned banks.

Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress say the White House needs to come down harsher on Russia after it said the country broke a landmark 1987 missile treaty.

"When the president comes out he's going to make a statement on Russia doesn't even mention the INF treaty that which is really serious and significant," said U.S. Rep Mike Rogers, R-MI.

When asked if recent developments with Russia are a throwback to the 1950s and 60s, President Barack Obama has denied the escalating tension between the U.S. and Moscow is on par with the Cold War era.

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