Biden cuts off Russia from Western financing over Putin’s actions against Ukraine

Washington: US President Joe Biden has announced a set of sweeping sanctions targeting Russia’s ability to do business with the West, asserting that his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin’s decision to order troops into parts of eastern Ukraine was “a flagrant violation of international law”.
Announcing the “first tranche” of US sanctions on Russia for its moves against Ukraine, including on two large financial institutions, Russian sovereign debt and Russian elites and their family members, Biden said the American actions would effectively “cut off Russia’s government from Western finance.”
In a brief address from the White House on Tuesday, Biden also announced that he was moving additional troops and equipment to “strengthen” US allies in the Baltic nations on NATO’s eastern flank, but made clear they would not be there to “fight Russia.”
Biden called Putin’s actions, including ordering Russian troops into Luhansk and Donetsk, the two separatist-held regions of eastern Ukraine after declaring them independent, as a “flagrant violation of international law.”
Biden also asked, “Who in the Lord’s name does Putin think gives him the right to declare new so-called countries on territory that belonged to his neighbours?”
Putin bizarrely asserted that these regions are no longer part of Ukraine and their sovereign territory. To put it simply, Russia just announced that it is carving out a big chunk of Ukraine, Biden said.
“He’s setting up a rationale to take more territory by force in my view. And if we listen to his speech last night, he’s setting up a rationale to go much further. This is the beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine as he indicated and asked permission to be able to do from his Duma,” the US President said.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has announced that he has cancelled plans to meet his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Geneva later this week since Russia was going ahead with the recognition of the two separatist regions of Ukraine.
While Blinken cancelled his planned meeting with Lavrov, Biden said the US remains open to diplomacy.


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