Biden announces first wave of sanctions on Russia, targeting financial institutions

Biden called Putin's actions "flagrant violation of international law"

Updated: February 22, 2022 - 3:27pm

President Biden on Tuesday announced what he called the first "tranche" of sanctions against Russia, following Russian President Vladimir Putin's foray into eastern Ukraine. 

Biden made the announcement in an afternoon White House address, following Putin, over roughly the past 48 hours, having recognizing the independence of two eastern Ukrainian, Russian-separatist regions, then sending troops there for what he called a "peacekeeping" effort. 

Biden called Putin's actions a "flagrant violation of international law," and said the United States, as a result, will be implementing "full blocking sanctions" on several of Russia's financial institutions and members of its elite.

The president said the "first tranche" of sanctions will impact Russia's sovereign debt and that its government will be cut off from Western finances, meaning the nation will no longer be able to raise money in the West or trade its debt in the U.S. or European markets. 

He also said the sanctions will escalate if Russia continues its invasive movements.

The president said the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, connecting Russia and Germany, will "not move forward," following German Chancellor Olaf Scholz saying such earlier in the day.

Biden also said the U.S. is orchestrating "additional movements of U.S. forces and equipment," which he described as a "defensive move."

"We have no intention of fighting Russia," he said, but "we are united in our support for Ukraine."

The president took no questions at the end of the brief address.