Biden and European leaders issue Russian sanctions

US President Joe Biden and leaders of the UK, dozens of European countries, Oceania and Japan announced sweeping sanctions on Thursday (February 24th) aimed at financially punishing Russia in response to its large-scale invasion of Israel. Ukraine.

The measures, disclosed in coordinated announcements on Thursday, target the Russian economy as well as the assets and income of some wealthy Russians with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Some sanctions took effect immediately; executives said more would strike next week, according to the Wall Street Journal. They follow less drastic sanctions implemented in recent days in an unsuccessful effort to convince Putin not to invade Ukraine.

The sanctions did not include blocking Russia from the SWIFT payment system – a step called for by some political leaders in the UK, US and the President of Ukraine. Biden said doing so remains a possibility.

Read more: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants Russia kicked out of SWIFT

“It’s always an option, but at the moment it’s not the position the rest of Europe wants to take,” he said.

The sanctions were designed to inflict “a severe cost on the Russian economy,” Biden said, adding, “I will do everything in my power to limit the pain the American people are feeling at the gas pump.”

“The sanctions we have imposed exceed anything that has ever been done,” Biden continued. “The sanctions we imposed got two-thirds of the world to join us. These are deep penalties.

Sanctions targets include major Russian lenders Sherbank and VTB, as well as Russia’s transport sector. The United States and its allies are also taking steps to limit sales of certain semiconductors and biotech technologies to Russian companies.

Some countries have implemented specific local sanctions, such as the UK’s decision to ban Russian airline Aeroflot from using UK airports.

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