Joe Biden Unveils 'Severe Sanctions' On Russia As He Addresses Nation
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Joe Biden has revealed the 'severe sanctions' the US and its allies will impose on Russia as a result of its invasion of Ukraine.
This morning, February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops across the border in what he called a 'special military operation'.
The invasion has been widely condemned, with the EU having pledged to impose the 'strongest, harshest package' of sanctions ever implemented, and NATO having deployed additional air, land and sea forces to the east, branding the invasion as 'horrifying'.
Following a meeting with the leaders of the G7, in a public address held today at 5.30pm GMT, President Biden has since detailed just what sanctions will be implemented against Russia by the US and its allies.
In his most recent Twitter post at the time of writing, Biden stated how he had met with his 'G7 counterparts to discuss President Putin's unjustified attack on Ukraine,' and that they all 'agreed to move forward on devastating packages of sanctions and other economic measures to hold Russia to account'. 'We stand with the brave people of Ukraine,' he noted.
During his address to the nation, Biden commented on how the invasion is 'unfolding largely as [the US] predicted'.
He stated: 'This tells you all you need to know about his [Putin's] intentions all along. He rejected every good faith effort the United States and our allies our partners made to address our mutual security concerns through dialogue to avoid needless conflict. Putin is the aggressor, Putin chose this war. Now, he and his country will bare the consequences.'
This morning, I met with my G7 counterparts to discuss President Putin’s unjustified attack on Ukraine and we agreed to move forward on devastating packages of sanctions and other economic measures to hold Russia to account. We stand with the brave people of Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/dzvYxj7J9w— President Biden (@POTUS) February 24, 2022
In relation to the sanctions, Biden stated: 'We have purposely designed these sanctions to maximise the long term impact on Russia and to minimise the impact on the United States and our allies. [...] We will limit Russia's ability to do business in dollars, pounds, euros and yen'.
'We have now sanctioned Russian banks that together hold around one trillion dollars in assets. We've cut off Russia's largest bank, a bank that holds more than one third of Russia's banking assets by itself. We cut it off from the US financial system. And today we're also blocking four more major banks. That means every asset they have in America will be frozen. This includes VTB, the second largest bank in Russia which has $250bn in assets. As promised, we're also adding names to the list of Russian elites and their family members that we're sanctioning as well,' he said.
Biden estimates that the US' actions alongside the sanctions of its allies 'will cut off more than half of Russia's high-tech imports' and prevent the country from being able to 'compete in a high-tech 21st century economy'.
Biden announces long list of sanctions:— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) February 24, 2022
-Limit Russia’s ability to do business is dollars, pounds, euros & yen
-Cut off largest RU bank from US financial system
-Freeze assets in US
-Block RU state-owned enterprises from debt markets
-Block half of Russia’s high tech imports
During the address, Biden also explained that US forces 'are not going to Europe to fight in Ukraine but to defend our NATO allies and reassure those allies in the east'.
However, he noted how he wanted 'to be clear that the United States is not doing this alone'. 'For months we've been building a coalition of partners representing well more than half the global economy,' he said.
Biden concluded by stating that a summit is set to take place tomorrow between NATO allies to 'affirm our solidarity and to map out the next steps we'll take to further strengthen all aspects of our NATO alliance'.
Watch live as I deliver remarks on Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified attack on Ukraine. https://t.co/fsc84Sq6F6— President Biden (@POTUS) February 24, 2022
The US had previously imposed 'full-blocking sanctions on VEB and Russia’s military bank, cutting off Russia from western financing, imposing sanctions on elites, and more' as a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
So far, Russia has stated it will respond to sanctions doled out by the US and EU in a 'tit-for-tat' manner, Sky News reports.
Biden previously took to Twitter to comment that the 'prayers of the world are with the people of Ukraine,' calling the invasion 'an unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces'.
'President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering,' he said.
In a later post, he wrote: 'Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its Allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way. The world will hold Russia accountable.'
Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its Allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way.— President Biden (@POTUS) February 24, 2022
The world will hold Russia accountable.
On Twitter, Biden confirmed that President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, had been kept informed and 'briefed [...] on the steps [the US was] taking to rally international condemnation, including tonight at the UN Security Council.'
'He asked me to call on the leaders of the world to speak out clearly against President Putin’s flagrant aggression, and to stand with the people of Ukraine,' he noted.
As per The New York Times, Chairman of the US Intelligence Committee, Senator Mark Warner, noted: 'For more than 70 years, we have avoided large-scale war in Europe. With his illegal invasion of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin has tragically brought decades of general peace to an end.'
Biden has reassured that alongside the new sanctions on Russia that the US 'will continue to provide support and assistance to Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.'
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