President Biden announced a first set of sanctions against Russia. The sanctions target two major Russian banks, among other things. They did not get more money from the West. Biden said members of the Russian elite and their families are also affected by the sanctions. The US President said in a speech that the Americans are also working with Germany to temporarily close the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
The president spoke about the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “What does Putin think gives him the right to recognize the so-called states on the lands that belong to his neighbours? This is a clear violation of international law,” Biden said, referring to Russia’s decision to close the two unilaterally declared People’s Republics. Donetsk and Luhansk recognition.
The president also referred in his speech to the Russian presence in Belarus, near the border with Ukraine, where troops from Moscow are conducting military exercises. As long as those forces do not withdraw, US military personnel already stationed in Europe will be moved to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, northwest Belarus. In this way, Biden said, they could “strengthen” the Baltic states, which are also members of NATO.
According to Biden, the steps the United States is now taking are “entirely defensive” in nature. We have no intention of fighting against Russia.” According to the president, the United States and Western allies remain open to a diplomatic solution, but if the situation escalates further, he does not rule out additional sanctions. “If Russia takes the next step, we also have the next step ready.”
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