Mon. May 16th, 2022
Biden announces sanctions on Russian oligarchs and banks

Joe Biden, the US President, announced that heavy financial sanctions would be imposed on Russian banks and oligarchs. He stated that Moscow had flagrantly violated international laws by invading Ukraine.

“None of us will be fooled” by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claims about Ukraine, the US President said in a live address from the East Room.

He said additional sanctions could be on their way if Putin keeps going.

Biden said he was also moving additional American troops to the Baltic states on NATO’s eastern flank bordering Russia.

President Biden was one of the 27 European Union member countries that agreed Tuesday to levy their first set of sanctions on Russian officials in response to their actions regarding Ukraine.

Germany also announced it was halting the process of certifying the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia – a lucrative deal long sought by Moscow but criticized by the US for increasing Europe’s reliance on Russian energy.

“None of us will be fooled” by Putin’s claims about Ukraine, Biden said.

American sanctions:

In his White House speech on Tuesday, President Biden said the US would impose “full blocking” on two large Russian financial institutions and “comprehensive sanctions” on Russian debt.

“That means we’ve cut off Russia’s government from Western finance,” Biden said. “It can no longer raise money from the West and cannot trade in its new debt on our markets or European markets either.”

After Putin’s declaration on Monday that he would recognize the independence of these areas, the president announced what he called a “first tranche” of sanctions. Russian troops were rolled into rebel-held parts in eastern Ukraine. It wasn’t clear how big the Russian deployment was. Ukraine and its Western allies claim that Russian troops are already fighting in the area, an assertion Moscow has always denied.

Russia’s upper house, The Federation Council, voted unanimously in favor of Putin using military force outside of the country. This formalizes a Russian military deployment into rebel regions where nearly 14,000 people have died during an eight-year conflict.

Putin soon after outlined three conditions to end the crisis which threatened to plunge Europe back in war. This raised the possibility of large casualties, energy scarcity across Europe, and economic chaos all around the world.

Putin claimed that the crisis could be resolved by Kyiv recognising Russia’s sovereignty in Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula Moscow annexed to Ukraine in 2014. He also suggested that Kyiv renounce its bid for NATO membership and partially demilitarize.

The West has condemned the annexation Crimea of Crimea as a violation international law. It has also previously rejected Ukraine’s permanent exclusion from NATO.

Asked whether he has sent any Russian troops into Ukraine and how far they could go, Putin responded: “I haven’t said that the troops will go there right now.” He added that “it’s impossible to forecast a specific pattern of action – it will depend on a concrete situation as it takes shape on the ground.”

American troops in the region being redeployed

President Biden on Tuesday said he was authorizing the redeployment of some US troops who are already stationed in Europe to bolster the security of NATO’s Baltic allies, particularly in light of Russia’s troop build-up in Belarus.

Friday’s prime minister of Estonia, presidents of Latvia (and Lithuania) made direct pleas to Kamala Harris for more US involvement in the Baltics.

Biden said, “These are totally defensive moves on our part” and the US has no intention of deploying its forces in non-NATO-member Ukraine. But Biden also said the U.S. and its allies “will defend every inch of NATO territory and abide by the commitments we made to NATO.” The organization’s mutual-defense pact considers an attack on one member to be an attack against all.

By admin