Zelensky pressed Biden for harsher economic penalties on Russia in latest call: reports
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reportedly asked President Biden for expanded sanctions against Russia during their latest call.
Sources familiar with the call told The Washington Post that Zelensky said more should be done to cut Russia off from international trade. While grateful for the measures that have been taken so far, the Ukrainian leader asked for more Russian officials to be sanctioned, for loopholes in existing sanctions to be closed and for Russia’s access to international waterways to be restricted.
According to The Post, Zelensky asked Biden to target members of Russia’s regional governments. Most of the sanctions that have been issued so far have targeted members of Russia’s elite as well as its legislature and Kremlin officials.
While many Western governments have issued these severe sanctions against Russia, Zelensky and other Ukrainian leaders have continuously called for more to be done.
After their call on Friday, Zelensky tweeted, “Had a substantive conversation with @POTUS. Gave him the assessment of the situation on the battlefield, informed about the crimes of Russia against the civilian population. We agreed on further steps to support the defense of Ukraine and increase sanctions against Russia.”
Last week, Biden called for the suspension of normal trade relations with Russia in order to heighten the economic pressure on Moscow. He also announced a ban on signature Russian goods, including vodka, diamonds and seafood.
One White House official told CNN that the Biden administration is aiming to place pressure on Putin by depriving Russia’s oligarchs of their luxuries and removing ways for them to shelter their money.
Zelensky is expected to virtually address Congress later this week.