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US plans to announce "further measures" to hold Russia accountable on Tuesday

APTOPIX Russia Ukraine Tensions
Posted at 4:02 PM, Feb 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-21 22:56:26-05

The U.S. will announce new measures on Tuesday that are meant to hold Russia accountable for recognizing two separatist regions of eastern Ukraine, a senior administration official said.

On Monday, the U.S. and Europe said they would impose sanctions against Russia for the move.

"We strongly condemn President Putin’s decision to recognize the so-called “Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics” as “independent," said Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The White House said President Joe Biden is issuing an executive order that will "prohibit new investment, trade, and financing by U.S. persons to, from, or in the so-called DNR and LNR regions of Ukraine."

The executive order also authorizes sanctions against anyone who operates in those areas of Ukraine, according to the White House.

"To be clear: these measures are separate from and would be in addition to the swift and severe economic measures we have been preparing in coordination with Allies and partners should Russia further invade Ukraine," the White House said.

Europe also said it would "react with sanctions" due to the "blatant violation of international law.” The sanctions will be imposed
against those involved in Russia's recognition of the region, according to The Associated Press.

The moves Monday ratchet up tensions between the West and Russia.

With an estimated 150,000 Russian troops massed on three sides of Ukraine, the U.S. has warned that Moscow has already decided to invade.

On Monday, Putin ordered forces to “maintain peace” in separatist regions of eastern Ukraine.

The U.S. said it would be paying close attention to how the Russian forces act.

"There have been Russian forces present in these areas throughout," a senior administration official said. "And so we’re going to be looking very closely at what they do over the coming hours and days, and our response will be measured according, again, to their — to their actions."