U.S. and European officials say the Obama administration is considering imposing unilateral sanctions on Russia over its threatening moves in Ukraine, a shift in strategy that reflects the Obama administration's frustration with Europe's reluctance to take tougher action against Moscow.
Until now, the U.S. has insisted on hitting Russia with penalties in concert with Europe in order to maximize the impact and present a united Western front. But after weeks of inaction, the officials say the U.S. is now prepared to move forward alone if EU officials fail to enact strong sanctions during a meeting in Brussels Wednesday.
The U.S. official cautioned that no final decisions would be made until after the European meeting. Both officials insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly by name.