White House refers to Russian troop movements in Ukraine as an "invasion", triggering new sanctions

Two officials from the Biden administration said Tuesday's language change was the result of an assessment of Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

White House refers to Russian troop movements in Ukraine as an "invasion", triggering new sanctions

WASHINGTON -- The Biden Administration is now calling Russia's move of troops to eastern Ukraine Monday "an invasion," which President Joe Biden said would result in significant economic sanctions against Moscow.

This shift in language came just hours after officials stated that Russia's move to the Donbas region of Ukraine was "not itself a new step", since Russia has been there since 2014.

Two officials from the administration said Tuesday's language change was the result of an evaluation of Russia's actions in Ukraine.

After Russian President Vladimir Putin officially recognized two Moscow-backed separatist areas as independent, the White House's decision to not call Russia's deployment in Donbas an invasion was criticized by both Democrats and Republicans in Congress. This also seemed to be in contradiction with past statements by administration officials that any single Russian soldier crossing the border, even in Donbas, would be considered an invasion.

On February 6, Jake Sullivan, national security advisor to the President, stated that "President Biden has spoken about the fact that if a Russian soldier or tank moves across the border that that's an invasion," on NBC's Meet the Press.

Jon Finer, the deputy national security advisor, stated Tuesday that Russia had crossed this line. Biden will announce new sanctions against Russia in the next few hours.

Finer said that Russia's actions were "the beginning of the new Russian invasion of Ukraine" during an interview with MSNBC's Morning Joe.

Finer said, "I believe you will see significant actions that will impose sanctions on Russia for its actions taken yesterday." "If Russia continues to take actions, we will see further severe and significant consequences that we can impose through sanctions on Russia. This is in addition to other elements of our response including security assistance for the Ukrainians to assist them defend themselves."

Finer stated that an invasion is a threat to national security and that the current situation is a result of it.

Officials from the Administration declined to provide details about the sanctions Biden will announce Tuesday. The U.S. sanctions will be implemented in coordination with America’s European allies.


 

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