Russia has been hit by sanctions: What happens now? President Joe Biden, speaking to the nation again on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, offered a sobering view on the inability of the West to get Russian President Putin to choose peace over war.
Speaking from the White House on Tuesday afternoon, the president said that Russia’s decision to order troops into parts of eastern Ukraine is “the beginning of a Russian invasion,” as Russian armored units streamed into eastern Ukraine.
President Biden spoke about what he characterized as the “first tranche” of US economic sanctions against Russia for its actions, including on two Russian financial institutions, Russian foreign debt, as well as sanctions on Russian oligarchs and their family members.
“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.”
Included in those sanctions was the end of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline that runs underwater from the Baltic Sea in Russia to Germany. The NS2 pipeline was set to deliver 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Germany each year.
More US Troops Heading to Eastern Europe
The United States, the president said, was sending more troops, that are already stationed in Europe to strengthen former Soviet satellite republics that are now members of NATO, such as Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia.
“Let me be clear, these are totally defensive moves on our part. We have no intention of fighting Russia,” Biden said.
“We want to send an unmistakable message though, that the United States — together with our allies — will defend every inch of Nato territory and abide by the commitments we made to NATO.
Biden vowed that the US would continue to send more defensive armaments to the Ukrainian government as well.
President Biden Calls Out Putin’s Attempt To Redraw the Map:
The president had harsh words for President Putin, for his redrawing the maps of Europe, calling Putin’s actions, a violation of international law, leaving the West no option but to respond.
“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 neighbors,” Biden asked? “This is a flagrant violation of international law and demands a firm response from the international community,” he added.
The president said that Putin’s attempts to justify his actions on Monday to move into Ukraine were inconsistent with the over 150,000 troops he had surrounded the country with. “None of us will be fooled” he said.
He stated that Putin’s remarks a day earlier were “setting up a rationale to take more territory by force, in my view.”
The US and the 27 European Union members unanimously agreed on Tuesday to levy their own initial set of sanctions against Russian as well as Russian officials over their actions in Ukraine.
European leaders were equally condemning Russia’s actions. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, took to Twitter and said that “Russia’s aggression against Ukraine is illegal and unacceptable,” adding that the European Union is “united in its support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
“This is the first tranche, the first barrage of what we are prepared to do,” UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Parliament.
Steve Balestrieri is a 1945 National Security Columnist. He has served as a US Army Special Forces NCO and Warrant Officer before injuries forced his early separation. In addition to writing for 19fortyfive.com, he has covered the NFL for PatsFans.com for more than 10 years and his work was regularly featured in the Millbury-Sutton Chronicle and Grafton News newspapers in Massachusetts.