Joe Biden unveils sanctions on Russia, slams Vladimir Putin
WASHINGTON, FEBRUARY 25: US President Joe Biden unveiled harsh new sanctions against Russia on Thursday after Moscow launched an all-out invasion of Ukraine, imposing measures to impede Russia’s ability to do business in the world’s major currencies along with sanctions against banks and state-owned enterprises.
“This is a premeditated attack”, Biden told reporters at the White House, saying Russian President Vladimir Putin rejected attempts by the West to engage in dialogue and had violated international law. “Putin is the aggressor. Putin chose this war. And now he and his country will bear the consequences.”
Biden said the sanctions were designed to have a long-term impact on Russia and to minimise the impact on the US and its allies. And he said Washington was prepared to do more.
Biden said the sanctions would limit Russia’s ability to do business in dollars, euros, pounds and yen.
Biden said NATO would meet on Friday to map out further measures. He reiterated that the US would not engage in war with Russia, but that it would meet its Article 5 commitments to defend NATO partners.
Biden said this was a dangerous moment for all of Europe, and that he had authorised troops that had been placed on standby to deploy to Germany.
“Putin’s aggression against Ukraine will end up costing Russia dearly”, Biden said. “Putin will be a pariah on the international stage.”
Biden met his counterparts from the Group of Seven allies earlier on Thursday to map out more severe measures against Russia after Putin launched the attack.
Biden, who spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy late on Wednesday, also convened his National Security Council on Thursday to discuss the situation.
His announcement represented the second major tranche of sanctions against Russia since Putin earlier this week declared two breakaway regions of Ukraine independent and sent troops there.
The US had warned it would initiate waves of sanctions against Moscow if it further invaded Ukraine, and Russia’s full-on military assault launched on Thursday led to the latest round of western penalties.
Britain unveiled new measures targeting banks, members of Putin’s inner circle and the very wealthy who enjoy high-rolling London lifestyles. Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Parliament that leaders had agreed to work together to “maximise the economic price” Putin will pay.
On Wednesday, Washington imposed sanctions on the company in charge of building Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, and on Tuesday it sanctioned 2 large Russian financial institutions and Russian sovereign debt along with some members of the Russian elite and their family members.
The US imposed the sanctions in cooperation with Western allies. (Agencies)