White House announces U.S. plans for direct sanctions against Putin

Friday's announcement by the European Union that it would sanction the Russian president was made earlier in the day.

White House announces U.S. plans for direct sanctions against Putin

WASHINGTON -- Friday's announcement by the Biden administration that it would join the European Union directly sanctioned President Vladimir Putin. The Russian forces continued their brutal invasion of Ukraine and threatened to seize the capital, Kyiv.

Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary, stated that after a conversation with President Ursula von der Leyen of the European Commission, the U.S. would support European allies in sanctioning Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, as well as other members the Russian national security staff.

Psaki stated that more information on the sanctions would become public Friday but that they would include a travel ban.

Over the last few days, the Biden administration has increased sanctions against Moscow. It is working with European allies in coordination to take steps in order to deter Putin from attacking Ukraine.

These efforts did not seem to stop Putin from pushing Russian forces further into Ukraine on Friday. Kyiv was rocked with explosions and the sounding of air-raid sirens. Officials from Ukraine encouraged Kyiv residents to make Molotov cocktails in defense of the Russian military.
Biden spoke to Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday, after the Ukrainian president had released a video message in which he lamented that Ukraine was "left alone" to face Russia. Zelenskyy stated that Russia was his "No. 1 target" and pledged to remain in Kyiv. 1 target."

Putin's sanction is symbolic. It is hard to block his assets because the Russian leader has buried all of his wealth. When asked by reporters whether the U.S. knew where Putin had his money, Dalep Singh, deputy national security advisor, replied: "Not going comment on that."

Psaki stated that the move would send a "clear message about the strength and opposition to the actions of President Putin, as well as the direction in which he leads the Russian military."

On Thursday, Biden restricted exports from the U.S. of certain products to Russia. This prevented Moscow from acquiring semiconductor chips and other technology that is essential for defense, aerospace, and other critical sectors. He also announced sanctions against Russian banks and elites who have close ties with Putin. These sanctions will freeze all assets Russia has in the U.S.

Biden had earlier in the week sanctioned large Russian financial institutions and elites, and collaborated with allies to stop the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

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