WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States and its Western allies plan to impose additional sanctions on Russia on Wednesday after disturbing new evidence of war crimes in Ukraine emerged, according to the White House. The new sanctions will include a ban on all new investment in Russia.
Other measures taken against Russia include tougher sanctions against its financial institutions and state-owned companies, as well as sanctions against government officials and their family members, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
“The goal is to force them to make a choice,” she said. “Most of our goal here is to exhaust the resources Putin has to continue his war against Ukraine.”
Separately, the Treasury Department on Tuesday decided to block all payment of Russian government debt in US dollars from accounts at US financial institutions, making it harder for Russia to meet its financial obligations.
The Biden administration also announced Tuesday night that it was sending an additional $100 million in military aid to Ukraine. Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said the new equipment will meet “an urgent Ukrainian need for additional Javelin anti-armour systems.”
President Joe Biden and his US allies have worked together to impose crippling economic sanctions on Russia for invading Ukraine more than a month ago, including central bank asset freezes, export controls and the seizure of property, including yachts, which belong to Russia. wealthy elite. But calls for increased sanctions intensified this week in response to attacks, killings and destruction in the Ukrainian town of Bucha.
The sanctions aim to reinforce Russia’s economic, financial and technological “isolation” from the rest of the world as punishment for its attacks on civilians in Ukraine, Psaki said. This isolation is a key aspect of US strategy, which is based on the idea that Russia will eventually run out of resources and equipment to continue waging a protracted war in Ukraine.
Psaki said the administration was evaluating “the consequences and additional measures we can put in place,” but stressed that Biden was not planning any military action.
An increasingly desperate Russia engaged in military tactics that outraged much of the wider global community, leading to war crimes charges and other punishments.
Yet almost the entire EU has refrained from outright banning Russian oil and natural gas, which would likely crush the Russian economy. The United States has banned fossil fuels from Russia, while Lithuania on Saturday blocked natural gas from that country, becoming the first of 27 EU members to do so. The executive branch of the EU on Tuesday proposed a ban on Russian coal, while the German government intends to end its use of Russian natural gas within the next two years.
On Monday, Biden called on his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to stand trial for war crimes and face new penalties over atrocities and abuses seen around Kyiv after Russian forces withdrew from the Ukrainian capital. The corpses of what appeared to be civilians were seen strewn about the yards, many of them likely shot at point-blank range.
Biden said the United States and its allies would gather details for a war crimes trial, pointing out that Putin had been “brutal” and his actions “outrageous”.
Associated Press reporters saw dozens of bodies in Bucha, on the outskirts of kyiv. There were at least 13 bodies in and around a building that locals said Russian troops were using as a base. Three other bodies were found in a stairwell and a group of six were burned together.
Many of the victims seen by the AP appeared to have been shot at close range. Some were shot in the head. At least two had their hands tied. An overturned bag of groceries lay near one victim.