The United States, Canada and Japan have slapped sanctions on Russia over the invasion of Ukraine, just hours after Britain announced “the first barrage” of sanctions on Russia.
United States President Joe Biden has announced the “first tranche” of sanctions on Russia to “cut off Russia’s government from Western financing”.
Terming Russian ‘invasion’ of Ukraine as a beginning, President Joe Biden said that the United States will keep tightening sanctions against Russia.
“This is the beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. He is setting up a rationale to take more territory by force,” Biden said.
The US sanctions target two large Russian financial institutions and Russian sovereign debt, and sanctions against Russian elites and their family members.
Notably, US deputy national security advisor – Daleep Singh is leading the efforts of the Biden administration to impose punitive sanctions on Russia over its actions against Ukraine.
“Make no mistake, this is only the sharp edge of the pain we can inflict,” said Daleep Singh while briefing the media.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden has ordered more US troops to move into NATO member nations in eastern Europe after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognised two separatist areas in Ukraine as independent areas.
Biden said he has “authorised additional movements of US forces” stationed in Europe to allies of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) in the Baltics.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has also announced a “first round” of economic sanctions on Russia.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described Moscow’s recent actions in Ukraine as “a further invasion of a sovereign state”.
“We will ban Canadians from engaging in purchases of Russian sovereign debt. And we will apply additional sanctions on to state-backed Russian banks and prevent any financial dealings with them,” Trudeau said.
Japan has now announced a set of sanctions against Russia over its actions in Ukraine.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said he would ban the issuance of Russian bonds in Japan, and impose visa bans and asset freezes on a number of Russian individuals.
Kishida said Moscow’s recent decision to order troops into eastern Ukraine had violated Ukraine’s sovereignty.
He stressed that Tokyo was prepared to impose additional measures should the situation escalate.
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison says his nation will also impose sanctions on the breakaway regions of Ukraine.
Australia’s sanctions will target banks, transport, energy, oil, gas and telecommunications.
“We will be standing up to Russia, along with all of our partners and all those who believe that it’s totally unacceptable that Russia could invade its neighbour,” Morrison said.
Eight Russian individuals would be affected by Australia’s sanctions, local media reported.
Meanwhile, UN secretary general Antonio Guterres has said that he is “concerned about the perversion of the concept of peacekeeping” after Moscow ordered Russian troops into eastern Ukraine to “keep the peace”.
“When troops of one country enter the territory of another country without its consent, they are not impartial peacekeepers. They are not peacekeepers at all,” Guterres said.