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Biden announces new round of sanctions on Russia in response to invasion of Ukraine

President Joe Biden
Posted at 7:58 AM, Feb 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-24 14:37:05-05

In an address from the White House on Thursday, President Joe Biden laid out a series of economic sanctions — backed by dozens of other countries — in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"Putin is the aggressor. Putin chose this war, and now he will suffer the consequences," Biden said.

The sanctions levied Thursday include blocking assets of large Russian banks, imposing export controls and sanctioning Russian oligarchs who have funds outside of the country.

"Every asset that (Russia has) in America will be frozen," Biden says.

He later added that he expected the sanctions would cut off "half of Russia's high-tech imports."

However, the sanctions stopped short of cutting Russia off from access to SWIFT, the international banking system, due to concerns from U.S. allies about how such a move would affect the European economy.

Biden also said Thursday that the U.S. would be deploying additional troops to Germany in the days ahead to reassure NATO allies. The president clarified that the troops would not be sent into battle in Ukraine.

"Our forces will not be engaged in the fighting in Ukraine," Biden said.

However, he warned that U.S. troops would enter the fight if Russia attacked NATO allies.

"The U.S. will defend every inch of NATO territory with the full force of American power," Biden said. "There is no doubt that the U.S. and every NATO ally will meet our Article 5 commitments, which says an attack on one is an attack on all."

Biden also addressed concerns regarding the price of gasoline, which is expected to rise given that Russia and Ukraine are major oil producers. Prices soared on Thursday, with the cost of crude oil exceeding $100 a barrel.

"I know this is hard and that Americans are already hurting. I will do everything in my power to limit the pain the American people are feeling at the gas pump," Biden said. "But this aggression cannot go unanswered."

Earlier this week, Biden announced he was levying several economic sanctions on Russia as it moved troops into separatist-held Ukrainian territory. Those sanctions impacted financial activity connected to Russia's sovereign debt, as well as sanctions on Russian elites and their family members.

NATO allies have also imposed their own economic sanctions. Germany has taken steps to cancel a lucrative pipeline project, the Nord Stream 2, which would provide gas from Russia into Germany and the rest of Western Europe.