US President Joe Biden announced in a press conference on Tuesday that the US will place additional sanctions on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine on Monday, noting what he called the “bizarre assertions” made by Russian President Vladimir Putin as to the right his country had to occupy Ukraine.
Biden said that two large Russian financial institutions, the VEB (A Russian state development corporation) and the country’s military bank, would be targeted in this round of sanctions, which go much deeper than those he had announced yesterday, when the country’s forces first entered the Donbass region.
The sanctions will target Russia’s financial institutions, sovereign debt and elite families. “And if Russia goes further with this invasion, we stand prepared to go further as with sanctions,” Biden said.
Today, I announced the first tranche of sanctions in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine. And if Russia goes further with this invasion, we stand prepared to take further steps as necessary. pic.twitter.com/8t87wyMq6q
— President Biden (@POTUS) February 23, 2022
Biden made mention of Russian saber-rattling on Tuesday which took the form of asserting that large regions that are currently part of Ukraine proper are also Russian territory when announcing these further sanctions.
Biden says Russia is preparing to take more territory from Ukraine
The American president declared that Russia is “setting up a rationale to take more territory by force” — not just occupying the easternmost Dombass region, which does have a Russian-speaking majority.
Biden noted that the new sanctions go “far beyond” the measures taken after Putin invaded the Crimea in 2014. “We will continue to escalate sanctions if Russia escalates” its invasion, Biden warned.
One meaningful way to penalize Russia for its unlawful incursion into Ukraine was to inflict financial penalties, Biden noted, saying that it was his intention that it be shut off from international finance. “Starting tomorrow and continuing in the days ahead” he said he would institute yet more financial sanctions while continuing to provide defensive assistance to European allies.
Biden also stated that he had authorized additional forces to move within Europe to strengthen “our Baltic allies” – although he hastened to add “we have no intention of fighting Russia.” The US and its allies, he declared, “Will defend every inch of NATO territory.”