The United States and its allies are gearing up to impose a fresh set of sanctions on Russia after Moscow formally recognized two breakaway enclaves in eastern Ukraine and sent forces it described as peacekeeping troops there Monday, in a move that the West fears could presage a wider invasion of Ukraine.
European leaders said Tuesday morning that Kremlin forces had arrived in the self-proclaimed republics. European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said that “Russian troops are on Ukrainian soil” but that it was not a “fully fledged invasion.” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said hours before that “we will give up nothing to no one” and that Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders “will stay that way, despite any statements or actions taken by the Russian Federation.”
Russia’s maneuvers appeared to be increasingly out of step with world opinion and were sharply rebuked by several nations at a hastily convened meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Monday night. Linda Thomas-Greenfield (the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations) accused Vladimir Putin of wanting to see the world “travel back to a period before the United Nations — to when empires ruled” and stated that he was trying to test the international rules-based system.
Here’s what to know
- President Biden signed an executive order Monday blocking trade and investment by Americans in two separatist enclaves of Ukraine. Officials from the Administration said Tuesday that additional sanctions, including new ones, would be issued in addition to those already announced in case Russia invades Ukraine.
- The State Department moved its personnel from Ukraine to Poland on Monday amid fears of Russia’s “plans for an invasion at any moment,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
- Beijing continues to walk a tightrope of supporting Russia without outright endorsing its actions in Ukraine, with China’s ambassador to the United Nations calling on all parties involved to “seek reasonable solutions” and address concerns based on “equality and mutual respect.”
UNDERSTANDING THE RUSSIA-UKRAINE CRISIS