Updated Mar 22, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Biden to announce additional Russia sanctions during Europe trip


Photo: Leigh Vogel/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden intends to announce a new Russia sanctions package during his visit to Europe this week, including measures to crack down on sanctions evasion, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said at a press briefing Tuesday.

Why it matters: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has pleaded with the West to impose new sanctions "every week until the Russian military machine stops."

What to watch: Biden will travel to Brussels on Wednesday for emergency meetings with the leaders of NATO, the G7 and the European Union, before heading to Warsaw to meet with the president of Poland and experts involved in humanitarian efforts.

  • Sullivan said Biden will coordinate with allies to announce actions on the three main fronts of the West's response to Russia's invasion: providing Ukraine with additional military aid, imposing and tightening sanctions on Russia, and fortifying NATO's eastern flank.
  • Biden will also announce "joint action on enhancing European energy security" and additional U.S. contributions to a "coordinated humanitarian response," Sullivan added.

The big picture: Sullivan said the U.S. believes Vladimir Putin has "manifestly failed" in "all three objectives" he set out to accomplish with his invasion — subjugate Ukraine, enhance Russian power and prestige, and divide and weaken the West.

  • The claim aligns with assessments from the Pentagon and other Western officials about the military situation in Ukraine, which has in many ways reached a deadly stalemate.
  • A senior U.S. defense official told reporters Tuesday that there are "indications" that Ukraine is "now able and willing to take back territory" initially seized by Russian forces, which continue to experience high numbers of casualties and serious logistics problems.

What they're saying: “Russia will never take Ukraine away from the Ukrainian people," Sullivan said from the White House podium.

  • But he warned: "There will be hard days ahead in Ukraine, hardest for the Ukrainian troops on the frontlines, and the civilians under Russian bombardment."
  • "This war will not end easily or rapidly," Sullivan said.
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