WASHINGTON -- Thursday's announcement by President Joe Biden was a harsh new round in sanctions against Russia. This came just hours after Moscow launched an attack on Ukraine. It plunged Europe into its worst security crisis since World War II.
Biden, speaking from the White House criticized President Vladimir Putin's "naked aggression" against Ukraine and promised to make the Russian leader "a paeh on the international stage."
Putin is the aggressor. Putin chose to wage war. Biden stated that Putin and his country would now bear the consequences.
Biden had been promoting a diplomatic solution for weeks, but the invasion changed his mind.
When asked by a reporter about relations between Russia and the United States, he stated that there was a "complete rupture" right now.
New sanctions have been placed on Russia to restrict exports of certain products from the U.S. To Moscow. This will prevent Moscow from acquiring semiconductor chips and other critical technology for defense, aerospace, and other critical sectors. Russian elites and banks with close ties are also targeted by the sanctions, which freeze all assets Russia has in America.
Biden also authorized U.S. military forces to be deployed to Germany, and stated that NATO allies would meet Friday to "map the next steps." He reiterated his promise not to send U.S. soldiers into Ukraine to fight Russia but added that the U.S. would protect its NATO allies in the event of Russia's expansion beyond Ukraine.
Biden announced a first round of sanctions for Russia Tuesday after Putin sent troops into the Russian-backed regions of eastern Ukraine. This was to discourage Putin from launching an invasion. Biden warned that more severe measures would be taken if Putin escalated the situation.
The announcement on Thursday did not cut Russia off from SWIFT, the Belgian financial messaging network that links over 11,000 financial institutions across more than 200 countries and territories. It also did not directly sanction Putin. Some financial experts viewed the move by the U.S. to remove Russia from SWIFT as a nuclear option. Others warned that it could have adverse effects on the global economy.
Biden stated that European allies are opposed to Russia being kicked off SWIFT, but claimed that the sanctions this week were "more consequential". He also said that they could always reconsider Russia's access SWIFT. Biden stated that sanctions against Putin were still possible.
As Russian troops tried to advance towards Kyiv, Moscow launched a large-scale attack Thursday. It bombed Ukrainian cities and infrastructure. Oksana Markarova (the Ukrainian ambassador to America) said that dozens of civilians from Ukraine were killed.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian president, called for Ukrainians to arm themselves in defense. Defense minister Volodymyr Zelenskyy also announced that all veterans and volunteers would receive small arms.
Biden is determined not to send U.S. forces to Ukraine to defeat Russia, and heavily relies on sanctions to punish Moscow.
Biden encouraged Americans to be patient with the sanctions and said that it would take time to "weaken Russia". Biden warned Americans that they could experience some economic pain after the invasion. However, he stated that he expects the effects to be temporary.
President Obama stated that his administration is taking action to ensure that gas prices do not rise further and cautioned oil and gas companies against using this moment to increase prices. Biden stated that the U.S. would tap into its crude oil when necessary.
"I will do all I can to reduce the suffering Americans feel at the pump. This is important to me. Biden stated that this aggression can't be ignored.
"America stands up against bullies"