The president announced ‘severe’ sanctions being imposed against Russia in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
President Joe Biden delivered an aggressive speech denouncing Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s attack on Ukraine from the White House on Thursday February 24. Biden announced further economic sanctions being placed on the Russian government on imports and the country’s elites in order to place a massive cost on the Russian economy and to further the impact on the country.
As he condemned the attacks on Ukraine, Biden explained that Putin had been planning the invasion with malicious intent for a long time. “The Russian military’s begun a brutal assault on the people of Ukraine without provocation, without justification, without necessity. This is a premeditated attack. Vladimir Putin has been planning this for months,” he said. “He moved more than 175,000 troops and military equipment into positions along the Ukrainian border. He moved blood supplies into position and built up field hospitals, which tells you all you need to know about his intentions all along.”
Biden called out Putin for disregarding the U.S. and other allies’ attempts to prevent an attack. “He rejected every good faith effort the United States and our allies and partners made to address our mutual security concerns through dialogue to avoid needless conflict and avert human suffering,” he said.
The president denounced claims from Putin that Ukraine were preparing to launch an attack on Russia, before sharing the sanctions. “Putin is the aggressor. Putin chose this war, and now he and his country will bare the consequences,” he said. “Today, I’m authorizing additional strong sanctions and new limitations on what can be exported to Russia. This is going to impose severe cost on the Russian economy, both immediately and over time. We have purposefully designed these sanctions to maximize the long term impact on Russia and to minimize the impact on the United States and our allies.”
After going through the ins-and-outs of how the new sanctions will affect Russia’s economy and development, including that major Russian banks would be frozen in the United States, Biden announced that NATO allies will meet to figure out the next steps to strengthen the organization’s alliance and said where he’d authorized troops to be deployed. “Our forces are not and will not be involved in the conflict with Russia in Ukraine. Our forces are not going to Europe to fight in Ukraine, but to defend our NATO allies and reassure those allies in the East,” he said. “This aggression cannot go unanswered. If it did, the consequences for America would be much worse. America stands up to bullies. We stand up for freedom. This is who we are.”
Towards the end of his speech, Biden showed more support for Ukraine, while vowing to make Putin a “pariah” to the rest of the world. “The Ukranian people have known 30 years of independence, and they’ve repeatedly shown that they will not tolerate anyone who tries to take their country backwards,” he said. “Now, the entire world sees clearly what [Putin] and his Kremlin allies are really all about. This was never about a genuine security concern on their part. It was always about naked aggression, about Putin’s desire for empire by any means necessary.
Before taking questions from reporters Biden gave one more reassurance that Russia would lose in the fight for freedom. “The United States and our allies and partners will emerge from this stronger, more united, more determined, and more purposeful,” he said. “Liberty, democracy, human dignity: these are the forces far more powerful than fear and oppression. They cannot be extinguished by tyrants like Putin and his armies. They cannot be erased from people’s hearts and hopes by any amount of violence and intimidation. They endure. In a contest between democracy and autocracy, between sovreignty and subjugation, make no mistake: freedom will prevail.”