U.S. Treasury chief says sanctions pressuring Russian economy

WASHINGTON, April 29 Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:19am EDT

WASHINGTON, April 29 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said on Tuesday that international sanctions on Russia over its policies toward Ukraine were putting pressure on Russia's economy, and more actions may be taken if Russia's stance does not change.

"You have to look over the period of time Russia went into Crimea, since we've imposed sanctions, there has been a quite substantial deterioration in Russia's already weak economy. We see it in their stock exchange, we see it in their exchange rate, we see it in a number of important economic indicators," Lew told a U.S. House Appropriations subcommittee hearing.

Asked whether the United States and European allies will target Russia's energy or banking sectors with sanctions, said those actions have been considered and could be taken under a presidential executive order that provides sanctions authority.

"We need to continue to keep our options open. We are prepared to take more action and we've made clear that we're prepared to take more action if the policy of Russia doesn't change," Lew said. (Reporting By David Lawder)

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