White House press secretary Jay Carney and other senior administration officials said the action only provided the framework for sanctions and Russia still had time to de-escalate the crisis.
Under repeated questioning about whether the administration plans to level sanctions against Putin, Carney said only that he was not ruling any particular person in or out.
“No Russian individuals or entities are blocked pursuant to the executive order,” he said. “It provides a flexible tool that in the coming days and weeks can be used to sanction persons. ... The authority has been granted, broad authority has been granted, to issue those sanctions as appropriate.
He later added that determinations about who to target would be made “as we evaluate the situation on the ground.”