WATCH: White House says U.S. is prepared to impose ‘severe economic costs’ on Russia

The White House said Friday it is prepared to impose additional “swift and severe economic costs on Russia,” along with U.S. allies and partners, in response to Russia’s referendums seeking to take over parts of Ukraine.

Watch the briefing in the player above.

Kyiv and the West condemned the Kremlin-orchestrated referendums as a rigged election whose result was preordained by Moscow.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called the elections a “sham” and “a flagrant violation of international law and an affront to the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity that underpin the international system.”

And she underscored that “the United States will never recognize this territory as anything other than part of Ukraine because it belongs to the people of Ukraine.”

Jean-Pierre also commented on the ongoing anti-government protests and unrest in Iran over the death of a young woman who was being held by the morality police.

Thousands attended a rally in the capital, Tehran, where they waved Iranian flags, and similar demonstrations were held in other cities. The government claimed the demonstrations of support were spontaneous. Similar rallies have been held during past periods of widespread protests.

“Women in Iran should have the right to wear what they want free from violence or harassment. Iran must end its use of violence against women for exercising their fundamental freedoms,” Jean-Pierre said. “There must be accountability for [Mashsa Amini’s] death.”

Asked about the criticism surrounding World Bank President David Malpass’s remarks earlier this week regarding climate change, Jean-Pierre said the Biden administration disagrees with Malpass and “expects the World Bank to be a global leader” on climate.

At an event sponsored by The New York Times, Malpass wouldn’t answer directly when asked whether the burning of fossil fuels has contributed to global warming. Instead, he said he is not a scientist.

Jean-Pierre did not say whether the administration would seek to remove Malpass, as that would require the approval of other World Bank members.