US to sanction Russian officials, ban new investment in Russia
Iran Press TV
Tuesday, 05 April 2022 10:23 PM
The administration of US President Joe Biden will impose new sanctions on Russia this week that include a ban on new investments and sanctions on Russian government officials and their family members, according to reports.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Tuesday that the sanctions were being coordinated with the Group of Seven and the European Union.
She said that the sanctions will also target Russian-owned financial institutions and state-owned enterprises.
She said that the sanctions are in response to Russia's recent atrocities in Bucha, a town near the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, and other acts of violence in Ukraine.
"We are continuing to assess and make decisions about additional consequences and steps we can put in place," Psaki said during the White House briefing.
Earlier on Tuesday, the European Union proposed a fresh batch of sanctions against Russia over the military conflict in Ukraine, amid divisions among the bloc's leaders on whether to restrict Russia's energy imports into the continent.
The European Commission proposed the new measures, including a ban on coal imports and blocking Russian ships from entering European ports.
The new package, which needs to be approved unanimously by the bloc's 27 member states, is likely to restrict the leasing of airplanes and the import and export of products like jet fuel, steel products and luxury goods as well.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a video address that additional sanctions, including on oil imports, were being worked out.
"The four packages of sanctions have hit hard and limited the Kremlin's political and economic options. In view of events we need to increase our pressure further," she said.
Western countries have slapped unprecedented sanctions on Russia since President Vladimir Putin declared a military offensive against Ukraine on February 24.
The new measures were proposed after Ukrainian troops began showing journalists corpses of what they say are civilians killed by Russian forces in Bucha and other towns near Kiev.
Von der Leyen accused Moscow of "waging a cruel, ruthless war, also against Ukraine's civilian population," saying that the bloc needed "to sustain utmost pressure at this critical point."
Russia denied any civilian killings, saying that the images were fakes produced by Ukrainian forces or that the deaths occurred after Russian soldiers pulled out of the areas.
"It is a simply a well-directed but tragic show," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. "It is a forgery aimed at denigrating the Russian army. And it will not work."
He also said that the Kremlin urged "the international community: detach yourself from such emotional perceptions and think with your head. Compare the facts and understand what a monstrous forgery we are dealing with."
The Biden administration has imposed harsh economic and banking sanctions on Russia in response to Russia's military actions in Ukraine.
Biden said the sanctions would limit Russia's ability to do business in dollars, euros, pounds and yen.
The US president claimed that the only other alternative to the sanctions would be to start a "Third World War."
President Putin said earlier this month that Western sanctions on Russia were akin to a declaration of war.
A top Greek diplomat told The Hill in an interview in Washington, DC, published last month that the coordinated Western sanctions against Russia over its military campaign in Ukraine are aimed at regime change in Moscow.
Greek Alternate Foreign Minister Varvitsiotis Miltiadis hailed Biden for goading countries to impose coordinated sanctions on Moscow, but lamented Turkey's absence from the Western push to punish Putin.
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