Biden seeks to cripple Russian economy with sanctions in response to Ukraine invasion
WASHINGTON — President Biden on Thursday introduced a new round of sanctions against Russia in response to an invasion of Ukraine that threatens to embroil Europe in a major war.
The latest penalties Russian banks targetedas well as some of the wealthiest people in the country.
Biden described the measures as necessary punishment for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine, a sovereign nation desperate to avoid conflict. ‘Putin is the aggressor,’ Biden said in White House remarks on the budding conflict he and his administration had been surveillance in recent days with growing alarm.
“Putin chose this war, and now he and his country will bear the consequences,” the president said. Biden sought to strike a tough tone against the Kremlin while assuring Americans that American forces would not participate in the conflict.
The first salvo of sanctions, pronounced on Monday, prevented American individuals and companies from doing business in Lugansk and Donetsk, two breakaway Ukrainian regions that Putin recently recognized as independent countries. The second round included measures against four Russian banks, with the aim of isolating the Russian economy.
“That means any assets they own in America will be frozen,” Biden said.
The president said the sanctions would extend to Russian oligarchs, the wealthy elites whose vast economic power is a pillar of Putin’s regime. He also said the sanctions would severely limit Russia’s ability to buy high-end technology from other countries.
“This will impose significant costs on the Russian economy, both immediately and over time. We have deliberately designed these sanctions to maximize the long-term impact on Russia – and to minimize the impact on the states- United and our allies.
Earlier this week, Germany has announced that it is suspending approval of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which would bring Russian gas directly to Western Europe. Russia is a major exporter of oil and gas, and the energy sector is at the heart of its faltering economy.
“Putin will be a pariah on the international stage,” Biden predicted, even though the Russian leader – who is believed to have amassed a huge fortune during his decades at the helm – he himself has not yet been sanctioned. Over the weekend, French President Emmanuel Macron had tried to arrange a summit between Putin and Biden, but the Russian invasion dashed hopes of a meeting.
“I have no intention of talking to Putin,” Biden said from the White House.