The Group of Seven economic powers announced economic sanctions on Thursday in an attempt to stop President Vladimir Putin’s assault on Ukraine. Thursday’s measures did not target the Russian president personally, but Biden said sanctioning Putin is “on the table”. The US move comes after Russia launched a large-scale military operation in Ukraine late on Wednesday.
European countries began imposing sanctions on Russia over the invasion on Thursday, with the United Kingdom announcing measures targeting dozens of Russian banks, businesses and wealthy elites, and banning Russia’s national airline Aeroflot from the country’s airspace.
At an afternoon news conference from the White House on Thursday, President Joe Biden announced new sanctions against Russia, vowing to impose a “severe cost” on the country for its invasion of Ukraine. Biden voiced support for Ukraine and said the sanctions package will limit international trade with Moscow and penalize Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle. “Putin is the aggressor; Putin chose this war, and now he and his country will bear the consequences,” Biden said. The sanctions target four Russian banks that hold more than $1 trillion in assets, including the country’s largest bank, Sberbank. Biden also said the United States will halt more than half of Russia’s tech imports and sanction more Kremlin elites.
Ukrainian officials have said fighting also is taking place on the ground, with Russian forces on Thursday capturing the former nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, in the country’s north. Biden said American forces will not fight in Ukraine, which is not a NATO member, underscoring that the U.S. had sent additional troops to Europe over the past weeks, announcing the deployment of forces already on the continent to “NATO’s eastern flank allies, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania”.
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