President Biden said the world would “hold Russia accountable” as explosions were witnessed in Ukraine’s second largest city minutes after Russian President Vladimir V. Putin announced the start ” special military operations” in this country.
“President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring catastrophic loss of life and property,” Biden said in a statement Wednesday night. “Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its allies and partners will respond in a unified and decisive manner. ”
Mr. Biden said he was following events from the White House on Wednesday night and received updates from his national security team. The president said he will meet with the Group of Seven leaders on Thursday and then speak to the American people, as he intends to “inform about the further consequences that the United States and its allies and partners will face.” We will impose on Russia this needless aggression against Ukraine and global peace and security. Biden’s speech is scheduled for Thursday afternoon, according to a White House official.
Mr. Biden’s penalties against Russia for its actions in Ukraine include imposing economic sanctions on two Russian banks and the company behind an energy pipeline linking Russia to Germany . They also include measures aimed at hurting certain members of the Russian elite and banning Russia from buying and selling debt in US or European markets.
Mr. Biden and his top aides, who have warned that Mr. Putin intends to invade Ukraine, said they hoped US retaliatory measures would both deter Mr. Biden adds sweeping sanctions if he escalates the conflict.
Mr Putin’s statement created a rare moment of bipartisan outrage in Parliament as lawmakers in both parties furiously denounced the invasion as a premeditated attack and called on Mr. Biden quickly enacted new, debilitating sanctions on Russia.
Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat of New Hampshire, said: “All options must be weighed against Putin’s wickedness that threatens not only Ukraine and Eastern Europe, but also our security. all liberal democracies globally”. “Putin chose the path that led to war, and now he must suffer the consequences.”
Senator Jim Risch of Idaho, the top Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, has been pressing the Biden administration for weeks to enact a series of sanctions against Moscow, for activities including Russian gas pipelines. He warned that the consequences Mr. Putin faces would be “painful and quick.”
The House and Senate are absent from session, with lawmakers working from their districts around the country, but senators are expected to receive brief briefings on the situation from the administration. Biden on Thursday afternoon. And even outside Washington, before the invasion, a bipartisan group of senators worked to reach agreement on a new set of sanctions targeting Moscow.
“For more than 70 years, we have avoided large-scale war in Europe,” said Senator Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat and chairman of the Intelligence Committee. “With his illegal invasion of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin brought decades of shared peace to a disastrous end.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/23/world/europe/biden-sanctions-russia.html Biden vows to ‘hold Russia accountable’ and Congress calls for sanctions