Speaking in Warsaw on Tuesday, President Joe Biden announced that he intends to implement additional sanctions against Russia “this week.” The announcement came hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he is suspending the New START nuclear treaty between Moscow and Washington.
Although he did not give specifics in his speech, Biden said, “Together, we made sure Russia is paying the price for its abuses.”
“We continue to maintain the largest sanctions regime ever imposed on any country in history,” he added.
“And we are going to announce more sanctions this week together with our partners. We will hold those accountable for those responsible for this war, and will seek justice for the war crimes and crimes against humanity continuing to be committed by the Russians,” Biden concluded.
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Thus far, the Biden administration has imposed approximately 1,500 new and 750 amended sanctions and export controls on Russia since the start of the war in Ukraine last February, according to the State Department.
The sanctions have worn down the Russian weapons industry, imposed costs on several Russian oligarchs, and immobilized approximately $300 billion worth of Russian Central Bank assets.
Those critical of the sanctions have argued that they have caused the escalation of the war because they have prevented Putin from finding a way to end the conflict without impacting his political standing in Russia.
Hours before Biden’s address, Putin announced he was unilaterally suspending the 2011 New START nuclear treaty between the U.S. and Russia that limited the nuclear development of both countries.
“I am forced to announce today that Russia is suspending its participation in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty,” Putin announced Tuesday. “The West uses Ukraine as a ram against Russia.”
Putin also criticized Western countries in his speech for their “spiritual catastrophe.”
“They distort historical facts and constantly attack our culture, the Russian Orthodox Church, and other traditional religions of our country,” Putin added. “Look at what they do with their own peoples: the destruction of the family, cultural and national identity, perversion, and the abuse of children are declared the norm. And priests are forced to bless same-sex marriages,” he concluded.
Putin has taken a new tack in his speeches regarding Ukraine recently, commenting on social and religious issues in the West without providing any direct connection to what those issues have to do with Kyiv. In September, Putin went so far as to announce the “annexation” of 4 Ukrainian regions and declared that Western countries were “Satanic.”
With Putin and Moscow pushing the war in Ukraine forward with a highly anticipated spring offensive, it is unlikely that the additional sanctions will affect his determination to take full control of Ukraine.
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