US announces 'swift and severe' costs on Russia over annexation
Washington: The United States on Friday announced that it will impose "swift and severe cost" on Russia after President Vladimir Putin announced the annexation of four regions of Ukraine, which America quoted as a 'sham referendum.'
Putin signed the documents to formally announced the annexation of four regions - Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. The Biden administration official said they are "targeting additional Russian government officials and leaders, their family members, Russian and Belarusian military officials, and defence procurement networks, including international suppliers supporting Russia's military-industrial complex" through announcements from the Departments of Treasury, Commerce, and State, according to CNN.
That includes sanctions from the Treasury Department on a key player in keeping the Russian economy afloat: Elvira Nabiullina, an economist who has been leading Russia's central bank since 2013.
According to the statement, "The Treasury Department, US government and our allies will not hesitate to take swift and severe actions against individuals and companies inside and outside of Russia who are complicit in this war and these sham referendums."
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden condemned Russia's annexation of Ukrainian territory on Friday.
"The United States condemns Russia's fraudulent attempt today to annex sovereign Ukrainian territory. Russia is violating international law, trampling on the United Nations Charter, and showing its contempt for peaceful nations everywhere," according to the statement released by the White House.
Calling the annexation, "illegal" Biden said that the US will always honour Ukraine's internationally recognized borders and will continue to support the country's effort to regain control of its territory by strengthening its hand militarily and diplomatically. He further said that the USD 1.1 billion in additional security assistance that the United States announced this week also helped Ukraine.
"We will continue to provide Ukraine with the equipment it needs to defend itself, undeterred by Russia's brazen effort to redraw the borders of its neighbour," the statement reads.
US President also said he will sign legislation from Congress that will provide an additional USD 12 billion to support Ukraine.
"I urge all members of the international community to reject Russia's illegal attempts at annexation and to stand with the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes," Biden said as quoted in the statement.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the "United States unequivocally rejects Russia's fraudulent attempt to change Ukraine's internationally recognized borders."
"We will continue the United States' powerful, coordinated efforts to hold Russia to account, cut Russia's military off from global commerce and severely limit its ability to sustain its aggression and project power," he added.
After Russia formally announced the annexation of Ukraine territories, the European Union leaders also condemned the action and accused the Kremlin of putting global security at risk.
"We firmly reject and unequivocally condemn the illegal annexation by Russia of Ukraine's Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions. By wilfully undermining the rules-based international order and blatantly violating the fundamental rights of Ukraine to independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, core principles as enshrined in the UN Charter and international law, Russia is putting global security at risk," the statement reads. (ANI)