President Joe Biden announced new economic sanctions against Russia along with the latest aid package for Ukraine on Thursday amid the ongoing war between the two countries.
The United States is adding again to its list of Russian targets to include 400 new individuals and entities receiving “full blocking” sanctions. This latest tranche includes 48 state-owned defense companies, more than 300 members of the Russian legislature, as well as board members and heads of Russian financial institutions, according to a release from the White House.
Alongside Biden’s announcement, the Group of Seven (G-7) countries and EU announced an initiative meant to prevent Russia from evading the sanctions already put in place. This effort includes engaging with other governments on adopting sanctions similar to those already imposed by the G-7 and other partners, the White House said.
The G-7 and EU also vowed to block transactions involving gold related to the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, saying that is already covered by existing sanctions.
The Biden administration also announced it is prepared to provide an additional $1 billion in humanitarian aid to Ukrainians and those who have fled the country as well as $320 million meant to “support societal resilience and defend human rights in Ukraine and neighboring countries.”
The United States also announced plans to take in up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees “through the full range of legal pathways, including the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.”
The announcements came out of an emergency NATO summit Biden attended in Brussels, Belgium on Thursday on the one-month anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The international security alliance announced the establishment of four new battle groups in Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary, with promises of additional forces and capabilities before the NATO summit in June.
“Our joint statement today makes clear that NATO is as strong and united as it has ever been,” said Biden in a statement.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was beamed into the meeting via video link. Zelenskyy repeated requests for continued and increased Western security assistance, but, notably, there wasn’t a request for a no-fly zone. There was also not a request for NATO membership in his remarks, according to a senior administration official.
It comes as fighting continues in major Ukrainian cities and a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he wants “unfriendly” countries to start paying for Russian energy with rubles—a move that could force European countries that rely on Russian energy products to help revive the weakened currency.
Officials say multiple speakers at the NATO meeting also made calls for China not to aid Russia in its war with Ukraine and for China to live up to its role as a U.N. Security Council member.
From The Epoch Times