November 26, 2022

Biden hits Russia with new sanctions as Putin launches full-scale assault on Ukraine, freezes all Russian assets in U.S., deploys more troops to Germany, vows to defend ‘every inch’ of NATO countries

President Joe Biden arrives to delivers remarks to essential and frontline workers and military families attending the Fourth of July celebration
President Joe Biden arrives to deliver remarks to essential and frontline workers and military families attending the Fourth of July celebration

Last updated on August 14th, 2022 at 09:31 am

U.S. President Joseph R. Biden Jr. addressed Americans and the world on Thursday about “Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified attack on Ukraine,” and announced further sanctions against Russia and President Vladimir Putin’s men.

Biden announced that the new sanctions target four more Russian banks in addition to the first two banks he sanctioned on Tuesday.

“Every asset they have in America will be frozen,” Biden announced in remarks at the White House.

“This is premeditated attack,” President Biden said, adding that “Putin is the aggressor. Putin chose this war .” Biden described the attack as a dangerous moment for “all of Europe.”

He said American forces are not going to fight in Ukraine but will defend “every inch” of NATO territory, adding that article 5 which says “an attack on one is an attack on all” will be triggered if Russia attacks any NATO country.

“If he moves into NATO countries, we will be involved,” Biden told reporters during a question and answer session following his remarks.

Biden announced that he was deploying troops to Germany to protect U.S. allies.

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The additional sanctions came after Russia launched a full-scale attack on its neighbor despite international condemnation, wiping out Ukraine’s entire air defenses within hours, according to the Russian military.

The Ukrainian air defense base in Mariupol, a port city in southeastern Ukraine, was bombed, so were several other military installations in several other cities. Reports said dozens of people had been killed.

Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Energy Demchenkov Yaroslav said on Thursday that Russian forces entering the country from Belarus also took control of Chernobyl, the decommissioned nuclear power plant.

The AP quoted Yaroslav as saying that the State Regulatory Inspectorate informed him that the Chernobyl, including all installations and repositories, “is fully controlled” by Russian forces. Cherno is about 80 miles north of the capital Kyiv.

AP noted that “the plant was the site of the world’s worst nuclear accident when a nuclear reactor exploded in April 1986, spewing radioactive waste across Europe.”

Image of Ukraine during Russian bombing on Thursday morning captured by the Ukrainian President’s office.

The remarks by the American President came just hours after Biden met virtually with the leaders of the Group of seven nations – Canada, Germany, Italy, France, the United Kingdom, Japan and the European Union. He also met with his National Security Council in the White House Situation Room.

The G7 meeting participants included President Biden, Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, President Emmanuel Macron of France, Prime Minister Mario Draghi of Italy, Prime Minister Kishida Fumio of Japan, Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Council Charles Michel, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the White House said in a statement on Thursday morning.

In a statement on Wednesday night, President Biden wrote that “the prayers of the entire world are with the people of Ukraine tonight as they suffer an unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces.”

“President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering. 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 united and decisive way. The world will hold Russia accountable,” Biden said.

He added,  “I will be monitoring the situation from the White House this evening and will continue to get regular updates from my national security team. Tomorrow, I will meet with my G7 counterparts in the morning and then speak to the American people to announce the further consequences the United States and our Allies and partners will impose on Russia for this needless act of aggression against Ukraine and global peace and security. We will also coordinate with our NATO Allies to ensure a strong, united response that deters any aggression against the Alliance. Tonight, Jill and I are praying for the brave and proud people of Ukraine.”

European Council President Charles Michel said: ‘The big question remains: does the Kremlin want dialogue?’ [Sputnik/Sergey Guneev/Kremlin via Reuters]

Blinken, Borrell condemn “unprovoked, and unjustified attack”

United States Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke on Thursday with EU High Representative Josep Borrell, and both leaders condemned what they described as “the premeditated, unprovoked, and unjustified attack against Ukraine by Russia’s military forces.”

“They reiterated in the strongest terms their commitment to European security and support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement. “The Secretary expressed appreciation for the close and ongoing coordination between the United States and the EU to confront Russia’s aggression.”

Price added that the U.S. Secretary of State and the EU High Representative “underscored their commitment, along with other like-minded partners, to impose severe sanctions and economic measures to hold Russia to account for its unlawful aggression against Ukraine.”

This article will be updated

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