Biden unveils new set of sanctions on Russia; threatens to proceed with more

Biden unveils new set of sanctions on Russia; threatens to proceed with more

Washington: Joe Biden announced a new set of sanctions on Russia in response to the official recognition of the breakaway Ukrainian regions and deploying troops in the eastern part of Ukraine by Russia.

In a brief speech, the United States President stated that Russia bizarrely asserted that the two breakaway regions – Donetsk and Luhansk – are sovereign territories.

Kremlin further had deployed its troops in the eastern Ukrainian region, calling them ‘peacekeeping forces.’

However, the moves were not welcomed by the United States and its allies.

The western nations and japan imposed new sanctions on Russia and threatened “to go further” with more severe sanctions if Russia proceeds with an all-out invasion of Ukraine.

The new sanctions target Russia’s sovereign debt, individual elites and two large Russian financial institutions, including the country’s military bank.

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

Germany, for its part, halted the major gas pipeline project – Nord Stream 2 – from Russia.

“Rejection of Diplomacy”

Earlier, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had also cancelled a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov planned for Thursday.

Blinken said he had agreed to meet with Lavrov, his counterpart, only if Russia did not invade Ukraine.

“Now that we see the invasion is beginning and Russia has made clear its wholesale rejection of diplomacy, it does not make sense to go forward with that meeting at this time,” Blinken told reporters after a meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in Washington.

Blinken said he was still committed to diplomacy “if Moscow’s approach changes” and would do anything he could “to avert an even worst-case scenario, an all-out assault on all of Ukraine, including its capital.”

“But we will not allow Russia to claim the pretence of diplomacy at the same time it accelerates its march down the path of conflict and war,” he added.

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