The United States will join the European Union in sanctioning Russian President Vladimir Putin and foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, White House said on Friday.
The EU had earlier in the day said that it approved an asset freeze on the two. “So President Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov are in the list of sanctioned people together with the remaining members the Duma who are supporting this aggression,” High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said.
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White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that the US will join the European bloc in sanctioning Putin and Lavrov.
Psaki indicated the US sanctions will include a travel ban. President Joe Biden, who had previously said sanctions targeting Putin were under consideration, decided to make the move in the last 24 hours after talks with European leaders.
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“The United States will join them in sanctioning President Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov and members of the Russian national security team. I expect we’ll have more specific details that later this afternoon,” she said.
The US Treasury Department is expected to release more details later Friday.
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Psaki said the move is intended send “a clear message about the the strength of the opposition to the actions” by the West against President Putin.
“The President’s strong view and strong principle from the beginning of this conflict, and even before I should say, has been to take actions and steps in alignment with our European partners, and this is certainly evidence of that,” Psaki said.
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The EU’s unanimous decision, part of a broader sanctions package, indicated that Western powers are moving toward unprecedented measures to try to force Putin to stop the brutal invasion of Russia’s neighbor and from unleashing a major war in Europe. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also told NATO leaders during a call Friday that Britain would move to impose sanctions against Putin and Lavrov. The EU said it would move to freeze Putin’s assets.