Washington announces sanctions after Putin recognizes breakaway Ukraine regions « Khabarhub
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Washington announces sanctions after Putin recognizes breakaway Ukraine regions


22 February 2022  

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WASHINGTON: The White House said it will slap sanctions on the Russian-occupied regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine, just hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized them as independent states.

“We have anticipated a move like this from Russia and are ready to respond immediately,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday. She said President Joe Biden would issue an executive order prohibiting new investment, trade and financing by Americans in those areas.

Putin’s pronouncement adds to Western fears that Putin is imminently set to invade Ukraine – something a senior administration official told reporters is a very real threat.

“In the last hour, we’ve seen Russia order troops to deploy into (Donetsk) and (Luhansk) for so-called peacekeeping functions,” the official said.

“This wasn’t a speech just about Russia’s security,” he said. “It was an attack on the very idea of a sovereign and independent Ukraine. He (Putin) made clear that he views Ukraine historically as part of Russia. And he made a number of false claims about Ukraine contention that seemed designed to excuse possible military action. This was a speech to the Russian people to justify war.”

He said the White House would announce further measures on Tuesday for what the U.S. sees as a “clear violation of international law and Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as of Russia’s own international commitments.”

He would not say whether plans were still on for Secretary of State Antony Blinken to meet with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, later this week. That meeting was intended to set the scene for a possible summit between Putin and Biden.

“We’ll continue to pursue diplomacy until the tanks roll,” he said. “We are under no illusions about what is likely to come next. And we’re prepared to respond decisively when it does.”

(VOA)

Publish Date : 22 February 2022 09:05 AM

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