Joe Biden has announced the first wave of US sanctions against Russia in response to Moscow’s actions in Ukraine.
The president said Russian troop deployments in eastern Ukraine marked the “beginning of an invasion”.
He warned Moscow that it would “pay an even steeper price if it continues its aggression”.
Mr Biden said Russian leader Vladimir Putin was “setting up a rationale to take more territory by force”.
“I’m going to begin to impose sanctions in response, far beyond the steps we and our allies and partners implemented in2014.”
The latest sanctions target Russian bank VEB and its military bank, and sovereign debt.
“We have cut off Russia’s government from Western financing. It can no longer raise money from the West,” he told reporters at the White House.
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Mr Biden also said he would impose sanctions in the coming days on Russia’s elite and their family members.
And the US leader said he had authorised the movement of additional American forces and equipment to bolster Baltic states in response to Russia’s activity in eastern Ukraine.
“We will defend every inch of NATO territory,” he said, adding: “We have no intention of fighting Russia.”
In a fast-moving crisis, Russian legislators earlier gave President Vladimir Putin permission to use armed forces abroad.
Moscow recognised the independence of Russian-backed rebel regions in eastern Ukraine on Monday.
Ukraine key developments:
UK targets five Russian banks and three oligarchs with sanctions
EU sanctions Russian MPs who voted in favour of recognition
White House refers to Russian troop deployments as an ‘invasion’
Ukrainian president considering breaking off diplomatic ties with Russia
Germany halts approval of Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline
Source : Sky News