US Sanctions Russia for Recognizing Ukraine Breakaway Regions, Forwarding Troops

U.S. President Joe Biden issued an executive order on Monday imposing sanctions on Russia for declaring the independence of two breakaway territories in eastern Ukraine just before sending troops to the areas.

Russia’s recognition of Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) or Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) regions of Ukraine violates Russia’s commitments to end the war in Ukraine’s Donbas region, “and thereby constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States,” the order said.

The sanctions will prohibit U.S. investment in the breakaway regions, including trade and financial transactions. The order will also “provide authority to impose sanctions on any person determined to operate in those areas of Ukraine,” according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

Humanitarian aid for the regions will continue, the White House said, as the U.S. Treasury will issue General Licenses that will allow essential items such as food and medicine to arrive in the region, along with remittances and telecommunications services.

“To be clear: these measures are separate from and would be in addition to the swift and severe economic measures we have been preparing in coordination with Allies and partners should Russia further invade Ukraine,” the White House said.

Psaki said that additional sanctions would be announced on Tuesday which Biden administration officials said would directly target Russia.

Moscow has already ordered “peacekeeping” troops to the DNR and LNR regions as of Tuesday.

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