Russia President Vladimir Putin, on Monday, recognised two separatist Ukrainian regions – Donetsk and Luhansk – as independent entities. He also ordered troops to these areas to ‘maintain peace’. Lawmakers in the Kremlin-controlled parliament are likely to rubber-stamp legislation authorizing the use of troops in in the separatist regions.
US President Joe Biden condemned his Russian counterpart’s recognition that could trigger an invasion in the ‘coming hours or days’.
“Biden strongly condemned Russian President Putin’s decision to purportedly recognize the “independence” of the so-called DNR and LNR regions of Ukraine,” on a call with Ukraine President Volodymr Zelenskiy, the White House said.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK is slapping sanctions on five Russian banks and three wealthy individuals over Russia’s latest military moves on Ukraine.
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EU Council President Charles Michel said it would also “target trade from the two breakaway regions to and from the EU.”
Now, what are the sanctions Russia faces?
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has suspended the certification process for the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline. The undersea pipeline directly links Russian gas to Europe via Germany and is complete but not yet operating. It has become a major target as Western governments try to exert leverage on Russia to deter further military moves against its neighbour.
Top European Union officials said that restrictive measures would aim to limit “the ability of the Russian state and government to access the EU’s capital and financial markets and services, to limit the financing of escalatory and aggressive policies.”
UK PM Boris Johnson told lawmakers that sanctions would hit Rossiya Bank, IS Bank, General Bank, Promsvyazbank and the Black Sea Bank. He said three Russian oligarchs with interests in energy and infrastructure — Gennady Timchenko, Boris Rotenberg and Igor Rotenberg — will have their assets frozen and be banned from traveling to the U.K.
All three have already been sanctioned by the United States.
Russia has faced sanctions from the West since its 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
France and Italy have made their intention clear to sanction Russia with the Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi calling Moscow’s actions “an unacceptable violation of Ukraine’s democratic sovereignty”.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said his country may break off diplomatic relations with Moscow.
With inputs from the Associated Press