President Joe Biden announced the U.S. was ordering heavy financial sanctions against Russian banks and oligarchs on Tuesday, declaring that Moscow had flagrantly violated international law by invading Ukraine.
“None of us will be fooled” by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claims about Ukraine, the U.S. President said. And he said more sanctions could be on the way if Putin proceeds further.
Biden said he was also moving additional U.S. troops to the Baltic states on NATO’s eastern flank bordering Russia.
Biden joined the 27 European Union members who unanimously agreed on Tuesday to levy their own initial set of sanctions targeting Russian officials over their actions in Ukraine.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian lawmakers on Tuesday authorized President Vladimir Putin to use military force outside the country — a move that could presage a broader attack on Ukraine after the U.S. said an invasion was already underway there.
Several European leaders said Russian troops rolled into rebel-held areas in eastern Ukraine after Putin recognized their independence. But it was unclear how large the deployment was, and Ukraine and its Western allies have long said Russian troops were fighting in the region, allegations that Moscow always denied.
Members of Russia’s upper house, the Federation Council, voted unanimously to allow Putin to use military force outside the country — effectively formalizing a Russian military deployment to the rebel regions, where an eight-year conflict has killed nearly 14,000 people.