President Joe Biden ordered sanctions in response to Russia’s recognition of Ukraine’s breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk republics. In a speech to the nation, he also ordered US troops to redeploy in the Baltic states adjoining Russia, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, following Russia’s assignment of troops to the two separatist republics. Biden termed this step “the start of an invasion” of Ukraine, branding it a violation of international law. The US President also said: “I don’t want to fight Russia.”
The White House said the measures imposed were separate to wider sanctions which are ready to go “should Russia further invade Ukraine.” German chancellor Olaf Scholz said he would put on hold the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project from Russia.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov brushed off the threat of Western sanctions saying: “We know that sanctions will be imposed anyway, in any case. With or without reason.”