White House announces additional Russia sanctions, Ukraine aid on anniversary of invasion

The White House on Friday marked one year since Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by announcing additional military and economic aid for Ukraine and a fresh round of sanctions on Russia.

The Biden administration, in coordination with allies in the Group of Seven (G-7), announced measures aimed at further squeezing the Russian economy and sources of revenue to fund the country’s war effort in Ukraine. The U.S. will increase tariffs on Russian imports and target companies, including some in China, that have helped Russia evade sanctions.

The Treasury Department and State Department are sanctioning “200 individuals and entities, including both Russian and third-country actors across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East that are supporting Russia’s war effort,” according to a White House fact sheet.

Among those targeted are a dozen Russian financial institutions, as well as officials and third party actors who are helping Russia evade existing sanctions. The U.S. will also expand its sanctions on Russia’s metals and mining sectors, the White House said.

The administration is separately targeting exports to Russia, blocking nearly 90 companies, including some in China, from purchasing items like semiconductors or those made with certain U.S. technology. The sanctions target companies that have engaged in sanctions evasion and backfilled activities to support Russia’s defense sector.

President Biden is also expected to sign proclamations raising tariffs on certain Russian imports to the U.S. The actions will affect more than 100 Russian metals, minerals and chemical products, the White House said, with the goal of slashing revenue for Russia and reducing U.S. reliance on those imports.

Separately, the Defense Department announced another round of assistance for Ukraine to coincide with the anniversary of the war. The latest package will include several new air defense systems, ammunition for rocket systems, mine clearing equipment and communications support equipment.

The Biden administration also plans to provide up to $250 million in additional emergency assistance to help Ukraine strengthen its electrical grid, the White House said. They also expect to deliver transmission grid equipment to Ukraine by early March.

The U.S. this week also began distributing $9.9 billion in grant financing to help Ukraine maintain key services and infrastructure, such as health care, education and emergency services. 

On Feb. 24, 2022, Russia launched an invasion into Ukraine after months of military build-up along the border. Thousands on both sides have died in the year since, but Ukraine’s government and capital city has held despite ominous projections in the early days of the war.

Ukrainian officials have pushed the U.S. to provide F-16 fighter jets for the war effort, and there are fresh concerns about whether China will step in to provide lethal aid to Russia to try and tip the fight in Moscow’s favor.

Biden will speak virtually on Friday with Zelensky and G-7 leaders about continued efforts to support Ukraine in the war, the White House said.

The president earlier this week traveled to Europe ahead of the anniversary of Russia’s invasion. He made an unannounced trip to Kyiv on Monday to appear alongside Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and emphasize U.S. support for Ukraine.

He spoke Tuesday in Warsaw about the war, calling out Russian President Vladimir Putin repeatedly and asserting that democracies were united against Russia for the long-haul.

Tags Biden administration Defense Department Joe Biden President Joe Biden Russia sanctions Russia-Ukraine war Ukraine aid Vladimir Putin white house

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