Biden Imposes Sanctions On Russia Over Ukraine Invasion
President Joe Biden hit back at Russia with a slew of sanctions on Tuesday, following Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s decision to recognize two separatist Ukrainian regions and back them with military support on Monday.
“Who in the Lord’s name does Putin think gives him the right to declare new so-called countries on territories that belong to his neighbors?” Biden asked.
The sanctions targeted two of Russia’s major banks, cut off Moscow from Western financing which makes it more difficult for them to make money by selling sovereign debt and increased the number of American troops into Germany, Romania and Poland.
Biden added that he believes Putin only plans to elevate Russia’s assault on Ukraine in his efforts to block the country from joining NATO.
Some critics felt that the sanctions were not severe enough, and questioned why the sanctions did not include more dire consequences, like blocking Russia from the SWIFT international banking system. Biden Administration officials say that a stronger penalty has not been ruled out and that the U.S. is ready to respond depending on Putin’s next moves.
“As Russia contemplates its next move, we have our next move prepared as well,” Biden said. “The United States will continue to provide defensive assistance to Ukraine.”
There are concerns over what the sanctions will mean for the U.S. and other countries which rely on Russian sources of energy, but the Biden administration confirmed that the U.S. and its allies will continue to work together despite the repercussions.
Fellow NATO member, Germany, halted a pipeline project with Russia. The U.K. also issued sanctions on five Russian banks.
“We will curtail the ability of the Russian state and Russian companies to raise funds in our markets, prohibit a range of high tech exports, and further isolate Russian banks from the global economy,” British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in a statement. “These will be surgically targeted sanctions that will hit Russia hard.”