WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of State has issued a statement saying that The Biden administration joined the European Union in imposing punitive sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday,
as Russian soldiers resumed their violent invasion of Ukraine, threatening to seize control of the country’s capital, Kyiv, according to media reports.
President Vladimir Putin has “committed heinous aggression against Ukraine,” according to a Treasury Department press release outlining the penalties, which also targeted Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and other members of the country’s security council.
The actions of the Treasury Department essentially mean that whatever property or monetary assets that Putin or his top advisers may have in the United States have been placed on hold.
After consulting with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen,
White House press secretary Jen Psaki stated that the decision to pursue Putin’s financial assets had been arrived at after consultation.
She added that the restrictions include a travel prohibition as well.
The sanctioning of Putin is primarily symbolic in nature. It will be impossible to freeze the assets of the Russian leader since he has buried his fortune.
When asked by reporters on Thursday whether the United States knew where Putin’s money was hidden, Daleep Singh, deputy national security advisor, answered, “I’m not going to comment on that.”
Some experts believe Putin’s net worth is in the tens of billions of dollars, according to their estimates.
Recently, the Biden administration has increased sanctions against Moscow, working in coordination with European allies to impose penalties in the hope of discouraging Russian President Vladimir Putin from launching a large-scale attack against Ukraine.
Vice President Joe Biden announced on Thursday that the United States would ban the shipment of some products to Russia,
preventing Moscow from acquiring semiconductor chips and other technology that is crucial to the defense, aerospace, and other critical sectors.
He also announced sanctions against Russian banks and elites with close ties to Putin, including the freezing of all Russian assets held in the United States.
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Early this week, Biden sanctioned major Russian financial organizations and political leaders, as well as working with allies to put a stop to the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project in the country.
However, as Kyiv was shaken by explosions and the sound of air-raid sirens on Friday, it appeared that these measures were insufficient to deter Putin from sending Russian soldiers farther into the Ukrainian capital.
Residents of Ukraine’s capital city were encouraged to construct Molotov cocktails in order to defend themselves against the Russian military, according to Ukrainian officials.
Biden talked with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy earlier on Friday, following the release of a video message in which he expressed his dissatisfaction with the fact that Ukraine had been “left alone” to battle Russia.
According to Zelenskyy’s video, he has sworn to remain in Kyiv and claims that he is Russia’s “most wanted man.”