Washington — US President Joe Biden announced the US was ordering heavy financial sanctions against Russian banks and oligarchs on Tuesday; declaring that Moscow had flagrantly violated international law by invading Ukraine.
“None of us will be fooled” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claims about Ukraine, the US president stated in a live address from the East Room. And he said more sanctions could be on the way if Putin proceeds further.
Biden said he was also moving additional American troops to the Baltic states on NATO’s eastern flank bordering Russia.
President Biden accompanied the 27 European Union members who unanimously agreed to levy their own initial set of sanctions that target Russian officials over their actions in Ukraine.
On Tuesday, President Biden said the US would implicit “full blocking” on two enormous Russian financial institutions; and “comprehensive sanctions” on Russian debt in his White House speech.
Biden stated, “That means we’ve cut off Russia’s government from Western finance;” The president announced the first tranche of sanctions as Russian troops rolled into rebel-held areas; in eastern Ukraine after Putin said he recognized the areas’ independence.
It was not clear how large the Russian deployment was in Ukraine. Its Western allies have said Russian troops were already fighting in that region, allegations that Moscow continued to deni.
Members of Russia’s upper house voted to allow Putin to use military force outside the country — formalizing a Russian military deployment to the rebel regions. An eight-year conflict that has killed nearly 14,000 people.
Soon after, Putin laid out three conditions to end the crisis that threatened to plunge Europe into war; raising the specter of casualties, economic chaos around the globe, and energy shortages across the continent.
Putin stated the crisis could be resolved if Keiv recognized Russia’s sovereignty over Crimea; the Black Sea peninsula that Moscow annexed from Ukraine, partially demilitarizes and renounces its bid to join NATO.
The West has denounced the annexation of Crimea as an infringement of international law and has previously flatly rejected it permanently, barring Ukraine from NATO.
President Biden said he was authorizing the redeployment of some US troops stationed in Europe to bolster the security of NATO’s Baltic allies.
On Friday, the prime minister of Estonia and presidents of Latvia and; Lithuania had made a direct request to Vice President Kamala Harris for the US to step up its presence in the Baltics.
Biden said, “These are defensive moves on our part”, and the US has no intention of deploying its forces in non-NATO-member Ukraine. But Biden also said the US and its allies “will defend every inch of NATO territory.”