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President Joe Biden on Thursday announced a new round of sanctions targeting Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, charging that Russian leader Vladimir Putin “chose this war” and that his country will bear the consequences of his action.
Watch Biden’s remarks in the player above.
The sanctions target Russian banks, oligarchs, and high-tech sectors, Biden said. The United States and its allies will block assets of four large Russian banks, impose export controls and sanction oligarchs
The penalties fall in line with the White House’s insistence that it would look to hit Russia’s financial system and Putin’s inner circle, while also imposing export controls that would aim to starve Russia’s industries and military of U.S. semiconductors and other high-tech products.
Biden, for now, held off imposing some of the most severe sanctions, including cutting Russia out of the SWIFT payment system, which allows for the transfers of money from bank to bank around the globe, or Russia’s energy sector.
Biden announced the sanctions as Ukraine’s government reported mounting casualties as Russian forces attack from the east, north and south.
Biden said the sanctions against Russia will not disrupt the global oil and natural gas markets.
“Our sanctions package is specifically designed to allow energy payments to continue,” he said.
Biden also says that U.S. oil and gas companies should not exploit the geopolitical risks to hike their prices and raise their profits.
A key concern has been preserving Russian oil and natural gas exports, which are vital sources for Europe and other countries. Financial markets already view the Russian invasion in Ukraine as straining energy supplies with the soon to expire futures contract for Brent crude increasing more than 5% to top $100 a barrel.
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