President Biden on Monday evening signed an executive order that prohibits Americans from trading and investing in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic, two separatist regions of Ukraine.
Earlier in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized the breakaway regions as independent and signed friendship treaties with their leaders. He also sent troops to the areas, claiming they were on a "peacekeeping" mission.
Biden's executive order blocks Americans from undertaking any "new investment" in the separatist regions and prohibits the "importation into the United States, directly or indirectly, of any goods, services, or technology from the covered regions."
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The White House said in a statement that sending troops to the Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic "contradicts Russia's commitments under the Minsk agreements, refutes Russia's claimed commitment to diplomacy, and undermines Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity."
There is a difference between the executive order and the "swift and severe economic measures we are prepared to issue with allies and partners in response to a further Russian invasion of Ukraine," the White House added, and the Biden administration is "continuing to closely consult with Ukraine and with allies and partners on next steps and urge Russia to immediately de-escalate."
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