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Biden announces sanctions on Russia after moves against Ukraine

President Biden speaks to reporters on the situation in Ukraine from the East Room of the White House on Feb. 22. (Oliver Contreras for The Washington Post)
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President Biden announced new sanctions on Russia on Tuesday after its moves against Ukraine, saying the actions amounted to a “flagrant violation of international law.”

In imposing economic penalties on Russia, the United States joins European allies in responding to Russia’s deployment of troops into two pro-Russian separatist regions of eastern Ukraine. Biden called Russia’s actions “the beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.”

Biden said a “first tranche” of U.S. sanctions against Russia would target two financial institutions, Russian sovereign debt and Russian elites and their family members. The Pentagon also announced that it was sending more fighter jets, attack helicopters and infantry to Eastern Europe.

Here’s what to know

  • Russia’s upper house of parliament gave President Vladimir Putin permission to use military force outside the country, a move that further raised fears of a broader invasion.
  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he was canceling his planned meeting with Russia’s foreign minister this week in Geneva, saying it makes no sense in light of Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
  • Putin called on Ukraine to forget joining NATO and to accept that Crimea belongs to Russia. Putin said Kyiv’s best path forward is military neutrality.
  • In Berlin, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he would halt authorization of Nord Stream 2, the controversial natural gas pipeline between Germany and Russia, for the time being.
  • Canada’s prime minister announced what he called a “first round” of economic sanctions against Russia.
  • White House aides are reviewing how the United States could respond if Russia curtails exporting global oil products due to hostilities over Ukraine, potentially triggering a spike in gasoline prices.
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