The United States President, Joe Biden has approved the deployment of more U.S. troops in Europe and announced a raft of new sanctions on Russia.
The moves on Tuesday followed Russian President Vladimir Putin signalling he would send “military peace keepers ” to the two Russian-backed separatist regions in eastern Ukraine.
According to Biden, the troops and war equipment will “strengthen” Baltic allies in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, as he moved, along with NATO allies to checkmate Russian moves in Ukraine.
“This is the beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, as he indicated and asked permission to be able to do from his Duma,” Biden said in remarks from the White House.
“So I’m going to begin to impose sanctions in response — far beyond the steps we and our allies and partners implemented in 2014.”
Biden announced that, “we’re implementing full blocking sanctions on two large Russian financial institutions: VEB and their military bank, we’re also implementing comprehensive sanctions on Russia’s sovereign debt. That means we’ve cut off Russia’s government from Western financing.
“It can no longer raise money from the West and can not trade in its new debt on our markets or European markets either.”
“We’ll also impose sanctions on Russia’s elites and their family members. They share in the corrupt gains of the Kremlin policies and should share in the pain as well.”
“If Russia goes further with this invasion, we stand prepared to go further as with sanctions,” Biden continued.
In his first public remarks since Friday on Ukraine, the president said Putin is “setting up a rationale to take more territory by force.”
“Who in the Lord’s name does Putin think gives him the right to declare new so-called countries on territory that belonged to his neighbours? This is a flagrant violation of international law and demands a firm response from the international community,” he added.
Biden announced earlier Tuesday that he has authorised additional movements of US forces and military equipment in Europe.
“Today, in response to Russia’s admission that it will not withdraw its forces from Belarus, I have authorised additional movements of US forces and equipment, already stationed in Europe to strengthen our Baltic allies: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania,” Biden said Tuesday in the East Room.
Biden said he wanted to be clear that these are “totally defensive moves on our part.”
In his words, “We have no intention of fighting Russia. We want to send an unmistakable message though: that the United States together with our allies will defend every inch of NATO territory. And abide by the commitments we made to NATO.”