Speed Reads

'flagrant violation'

Biden announces new, 'full blocking sanctions' against Russia

President Biden on Tuesday announced a fresh set of "full blocking sanctions" against Moscow, following Russian President Vladimir Putin's order late Monday evening to send troops into eastern Ukraine.

Included are measures targeting two large Russian financial institutions, the country's sale of sovereign debt abroad, and Russia's "elites and their family members," Bloomberg writes, quoting the president. In addition, Biden will move American forces in Europe to shore up Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

Should Russian aggression continue to escalate, additional sanctions are to be expected, the president noted — those announced on Tuesday are just the "first tranche."

"Who in the lord's name does Putin think gives him the right to declare new so-called countries on territory that belong to his neighbors?" Biden said.

"This is a flagrant violation of international law, and demands a firm response from the international community," he continued.

That said, however, "defending freedom will have costs for us, as well, and here at home," Biden noted. "We need to be honest about that." The president said that despite the drawbacks for the U.S., he's going to do his best to make sure the Russian economy is the one that feels the burn. 

"I want to limit the pain the American people are feeling at the gas pump, this is critical to me," he continued.

"We're going to judge Russia by its actions, not its words," Biden went on. "And whatever Russia does next, we're ready to respond with unity, clarity, and conviction."